Volunteering and Work Experience
Volunteering and work experience are two ways that you can develop your skills, meet new people, start to explore the world of work and begin to find out what you might really enjoy.
What are the benefits of volunteering?
Volunteering is a great way of developing your work skills and work experience whilst having fun, developing new interests and meeting new people. It makes you feel good, makes the most of your talents, helps you learn new skills, builds confidence, looks good on your CV and application forms and can lead to new friendships too.
Volunteering is for everyone – having a physical or learning difficulty should not stop you from volunteering.
VANL is based in Scunthorpe and have opportunities for you to be involved in voluntary work. To find out more visit the VANL website.
Do-it is a useful website to find out more about volunteering opportunities near you. All you need to do is use your postcode and then you can look for voluntary work either within a chosen distance, or even look for voluntary work that you can do from home. Visit the Do It website for more details.
Jobcentre Plus – The ‘Work Together’ programme run by Jobcentre Plus can help you if you are unemployed and looking for work. ‘Work Together’ is a volunteering programme designed to help you get back into work. You can volunteer with a local organisation which can help you work temporarily and gain the experience and skills you need.
You might be given the opportunity to do work experience in and around your school. Many schools ask pupils to do work experience in and around school as a first step towards the world of work, giving you the opportunity to try out new experiences and new responsibilities.
Some examples could include:
- Student reception
- Delivering snacks and drinks to different classrooms
- Taking orders for milk
Or you may have work experience through an arrangement with an employer.
Most schools will allow you to go out of school on work experience for 1 or 2 weeks in Year 10 or Year 11. You may be able to organise your own work experience during a certain timeframe as agreed with your school. Sometimes you may be allowed to go on work experience at different times, so it is best to ask your school how they manage work experience.
Although you are probably going to be expected to find your own work experience placement, if you have a special educational needs and disability (SEND), work experience may be arranged for you by your school or college.
Networks – You may find a work experience placement through friends of the family, or friends of friends who work in different employment sectors.
If you have left school and want work experience to help you build up your skills and experience or as a way into an area of work that interests you, you could get in touch with the Prince’s Trust.
Prince’s Trust – The Get into programme is for you if you are 16 to 25 and need experience to move into a job. ‘Get into’ is completely free and won’t affect your Jobseeker’s Allowance. Your travel costs are covered and you may be able to support with lunch and childcare costs during the course.
Jobcentre Plus – If you are aged 16–24 and receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance, you can get a work experience opportunity through Jobcentre Plus. Work experience placements usually last between 2 and 8 weeks and it is expected that you will work between 25 to 30 hours a week.
Google/Bing – You can find lots of different companies and organisations who offer work experience by searching Google or Bing.
Saturday and holiday jobs are a great way to start to learn about the world of work, the jobs you like, the jobs you don’t like as much and the reasons why. This first taste of work will also help you to understand that the skills you are learning at school are useful for work.
However it is important to understand that no child under the age of 13 is allowed to be employed and the law limits the hours and types of work that a child aged 13+ is allowed to do.
If you are under statutory school age and want to work, you must have a work permit and you must not work during school hours. (You are no longer of statutory school age after the last Friday in June of the school year in which you turn 16.)
Find out more about Child employment.