Work placements not only give people real experience of what it’s like to work in the construction industry, but are also a cost-effective way for employers to find new talent. For people trying to get into the industry, work experience is an increasingly important element of their CV – two-thirds of employers prefer people with a good work experience record when hiring.
Hands-on experience is an important component to any work placement, given the findings of proper health and safety risk assessments, an induction and full supervision (or buddying) throughout.
You may want to use CITB's Experience Construction programme to help you offer work experience placements.
You will need to compile evidence from the learning provider or employer that individual has taken part, and each learner must complete an evaluation form to achieve outcomes for KPI 1. There are two sample evaluation forms that you can use to collect this evidence:
See KPIs: meeting your targets for details.
Organising a work placement
Be clear to your contacts about what you can offer and clear with your colleagues about who is responsible for certain elements of the programme. For schools and colleges, liaise so that work placements fit well into their timetables; it is best to get offers out early in the academic year so they can make the appropriate arrangements. At college, students need to have 2 weeks’ work experience and your approaches to facilitate this should be welcome.
The programme and duration for every work placement is often different – but the two constants are that it suits your business and inspires the students. Look for variety, real-world tasks that promote independent thinking, and variety; avoid boring routine chores such as making coffee and photocopying. For more ideas, download the work inspiration how-to guide (MS Word, 1.7MB) from the National Grid.
Carry out risk assessments and any pre-planning, including getting the right sizes of personal protective equipment (PPE) and arranging for all-day supervision or buddying.
If you intend to undertake drug and alcohol testing for adult candidates, you’ll need to give advance notice to all parties. Provide company policy and site rules for all onsite workers and Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card holders.
To focus your efforts on the right people, you may want to consider a taster day as part of a selection strategy. Sometimes it is easier to organise for school students to come in pairs.
Confirm transport arrangements, times, lunch provision, and location for breaks or refreshments. Say if students need to bring a packed lunch or dinner money.
Work placement resources
- Practical tips and ideas for setting up an inspirational work placement programme: The work inspiration how-to guide (Word file, 1.7MB) from the National Grid.
- Template guide for a supervisor or buddy to encourage them to be inspirational mentors to students on a work placement: Supervisor and Buddy Guidebook (Word file, 1.6MB).
- Template for a work placement workbook, given to students to help them reflect on what they are learning during the placement and to be completed with their supervisor or buddy: Student placement workbook (Word file, 1.7MB)
- Example work experience programme (Word file, 64KB)
- Example risk assessment for young people on a work placement (Word file, 135KB)
- Example work placement timesheet template (Excel file, 45KB)
- Sample work placement evaluation form 1 (Word file, 67KB)
- Sample work placement evaluation form 2 (Word file, 108KB)
- Example reference following a work placement (Word file, 73KB).