Work Experience

Employer Guide to Work Experience

Work experience provides opportunities for learning about the skills, behaviours, roles, structures and career opportunities that exist within a workplace.

What type of work can students do?

There are very few occupational placements that are prohibited to a student. The emphasis is always on trying to provide an interesting and well balanced placement with real tasks accompanied by real responsibility.

How much are students paid whilst on Work Experience?

Students must not be paid whilst on Work Experience, as it is an educational experience not employment. However, employers may wish to make a contribution to expenses; e.g. fares and meals.

What hours can a student work whilst on Work Experience?

Students should not work for more than 5 days in any consecutive seven day period and it is a requirement that students should not work more than a standard eight-hour day or forty hours in a week. They should not work excessively long hours or unnecessarily unsocial hours. The number of hours worked together with the pattern of work is normally a matter of agreement by the employer, school and student.

How long is a Work Experience programme?

Most students will spend one week with an employer (Block placement), though on occasions, employers may assist with a placement for 1 or 2 days (Extended placement) over a longer period of time, perhaps even a school term or more.

Are there are particular Health & Safety considerations?

East Sussex County Council Work Experience Team will undertake a ‘pre-placement’ visit with an employer before a student starts a placement. This will include confirming contact details, finding out about the tasks a student will do on a placement and some questions in relation to the health and safety of work experience and that of the business.

What Insurance Cover is required?

Students on a work experience placement are treated as employees for the purposes of insurance against bodily injury. Therefore the employer must have ‘Employers Liability Insurance’ in place.

Useful Information

Download the Employers' guide to work experience

SEND - Work Experience

If you would be interested in hosting a work experience placement please email

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Privacy notice for employers engaged with the East Sussex County Council work experience service