Work experience and internships

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Work experience

Why do work experience?

  • It's a great way to see if you will like a particular job
  • It can help you explore different career options
  • To learn and develop new skills

Work experience placements usually last 1-2 weeks. They give you an idea of what a particular job is like which can help in deciding your future job plans. Many schools offer work experience during your time at school, but you can also arrange work experience yourself for during the holidays or on weekends. You can contact employers directly to see if they offer work experience, and it can be useful to talk to your family and friends to see if they can help you.


Internships provide on-the-job training and can give you experience in the job area you would like work in. They are usually full time positions which last between 6 and 12 months. An increasing number of employers are looking for experience as well as academic achievement so doing an internship can be a great way to get some experience in your chosen career path. Internships are usually for young people just starting out in a career.

Internships should be paid, though some employers do offer unpaid internships or volunteer placements. You need to be aware that there is a difference between internships and volunteering, and you can visit Intern Aware to find out whether you should be paid and how to report an employer if you are not.