Employers are being warned not to ignore the value of students coming into
the business community on work experience.
Over half a million students will be looking for work experience this summer
and Liz Rhodes, director of the National Council for Work Experience (NCWE), is
urging companies to make the most of a valuable resource: "Summer work
experience students provide the perfect resource to tackle projects, or free-up
a permanent member of staff. They also provide access to university resources
and bring knowledge of new technologies that may otherwise pass a company
by," she said.
The NCWE claims that work experience students can help companies save time
and money and Rhodes suggested that as an outsider they often spot new
Placements can be arranged independently or as part of a degree course, such
as sandwich schemes, projects or professional practice and often lead to
permanent job offers.
The NCWE has issued a set of guidelines to ensure organisations get the most
out of work experience placements, including the need to set objectives at the
The guidelines encourage employers to explore ways of providing financial
support for work placements, such as the STEP programme, which could help with
Employers are advised to be sure that the level of supervision is related to
the degree of responsibility given to the student and that, if paid, students
are subject to the same tax and NI regulations as any other employee.