How parents can help:
There is a lot that parents can do to support their student during work placements. While it is an exciting experience for most students, it can also be daunting and parental support and encouragement can contribute significantly to the potential success of the placement. Below is a list of things to consider during the course of their placement
Before the placement:
They know where they are going and how to get there.
They have selected appropriate clothes to wear depending on the nature of their placement.
They have money for travel costs and lunch breaks.
They have any documentation they are supposed to bring with them.
They know who to ask for when they arrive.
They know their start and finishing times as well as any break arrangements.
During the placement:
Ensure they arrive on time.
Make sure they get enough sleep – work days are longer than school days!
Talk to them on a daily basis about their experiences – they won’t receive a debriefing in school until the end of the placement so the opportunity to share their experiences on a daily basis and receive encouragement and reassurance is important.
Remind them to complete any diary/logbook that may be required.
Contact the school immediately if you feel your child is experiencing difficulties during work experience placements.
After the placement:
Chat with them about what they learned from the experience and whether it has made them re-think any of their plans.
Remind your child of the importance of saying thank you and prompt them to write to the work experience provider thanking them for the opportunity and experience gained.
Most schools receive feedback from the employer providing some details of their experience with your son/daughter. Also, it is likely that the school will require each student to complete a personal evaluation of the placement in terms of how it has contributed to their career aspirations.
In both cases it would be beneficial to take the time to discuss these and offer your observations as appropriate. The school may undertake a further evaluation process to assess the programme success and establish whether any changes should be made for the following year’s students.
You may receive a questionnaire from the school seeking feedback from a parent’s perspective and any insights you can give on your own experience will be invaluable to the school.