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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 4:14 am
Posts: 138
Location: Middlesex
DS will sit his GCSEs this year and since work placement is not compulsory any more, he is not bothered at all. His school teachers at Tiffin are insistent that he should gain some experience of work in summer but he is not interested. What should I do? Where should I direct him for information? Is it too late to look for a placement for this summer?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
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What line of work is he considering for the future? Have you any friends in that line of work that you could approach and ask them - if it is formal work experience (as it used to be) the school has to carry out a risk assessment and should arrange to visit him during the period - if you arrange it in the holidays this isn't the case. If you don't know anyone, get him to write a polite letter to various organisations in the line of work and then follow them up with a polite phone call. Any work experience is actually relevant, even if it isn't directly linked to his future career plans, as it is the principle and work ethic that a lot of kids lack. For eg working on reception in a hairdressers' telephone contact, contact with customers, "helping out" with things not directly related to reception, turning up on time, taking the right length lunch, dressing appropriately, talking appropriately and at the right volume....all useful stuff, especially if he has never held down any sort of Saturday job.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:36 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:00 am
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Assuming your DS will be 16 after his GCSEs have finished wave the opportunity of earning his own money...

I insisted that DS1 got himself, or at least tried to get himself a job once the exams were finished. He was fortunate, having already had work experience in year 10 - something that all year 10 pupils do in our neck of the woods do.

We sat and created a CV and he went out to various stores in a couple of easily reachable areas. Be aware though, a number of large firms, including supermarkets and chemists require them to apply on line.

Not all DS1s peers were fortunate enough to get jobs, but the prospect of not having money for the long summer holidays was a key motivational factor in helping him get sorted!

Whilst some schools may not necessarily feel that paid employment is what they had in mind for work experience, it was interesting for DS1 to see what a mundane, boring life shop work was for him and how frustrating it was when people didn't pull their weight added to the dreaded zero hours contract!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:38 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
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Voluntary organisations are always glad of an extra pair of hands and places like care homes for the elderly or disabled adults often find themselves short-staffed in the summer. My DD has been volunteering with disabled adults for almost two years and has gained an enormous amount from it, as well as contributing something and making some friends among a community which might not have been easily accessible to her otherwise.

I would always recommend young people to do some voluntary work, especially with those less fortunate than themselves, as it helps bring a sense of perspective into young lives which are so often these days driven by almost hedonistic self-interest as well as huge pressure to achieve. Being with people for whom achievement means something totally different can be quite sobering.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:31 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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You've got some great ideas there. I'd make it compulsory somehow to do something regularly either paid or voluntary.

Don't regret the lack of school work experience; our experience so far has been that unless you set up something yourself for the child it's quite often not what you hoped for - but of course any experience is a learning experience whether it fits or not with a potential future career. I don't think doing it through school necessarily has any advantages other than that it happens.

Fixing up something voluntary is not always as easy as you think - start just as early on that one as on the paid idea.

National Trust used to do some good week-long camps where you did hard, physical labour with a volunteer team at a National Trust property. That's a good experience too if it's still on offer. BTCV might do something.

If completely stuck, consider a language exchange?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:45 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:32 pm
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By his age I and DH expected to earn some savings and I will expect the same of my Dds whenever they are not fully booked up with education. I will accept voluntary work if it seems very worthwhile.

It never occurred to our parents to find jobs for us- I applied off my own bat anywhere including for a job at the hospital where my dad worked as a dept head- he seemed embarrassed - he was VERY clear that he had no part in me getting the (menial kitchen) job. Obviously now I realise they knew who I was and that I would probably work hard or would get extra grief at home! I at least had other references by then. I also gave guitar lessons, worked in a bakery, golf club, and painted interiors at my school in the summer. The better jobs were from looking for word-of-mouth opportunities more than applying blindly-useful lesson in itself.

The folks did help with cvs and travel logistics but I had to pay for petrol.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:21 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
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After DD did GCSEs I sent her off down the High Street as I wasn't having her lie on the sofa watching rubbich American sit coms for the summer. I said I didn't care whether it was paid or voluntary, but she had to do something. She has since had a variety of jobs (both volunteering & paid) and I think they have been more useful than the week's work experience organised through the school, although she enjoyed that too. I do agree that you shouldn't be finding them a job, but sometimes a little parental push is needed. Not supplying too much pocket money helps focus the mind, I find :)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
Charity shops are often in need of regular volunteers and a committed teenager (!) will gain valuable retail experience as well as the importance of teamwork etc. My DD was able to use her regular weekly Oxfam shop slot as part of her CV to get a summer retail post last year, which was then invaluable in getting an early placement for her industrial year.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:06 pm
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Do you know if they have to be 16 to get paid or voluntary work?My DD is not 16 until late summer so I am worried about the prospect of a lazy summer being what she is hoping for!!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:33 pm 
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pollyanna wrote:
Do you know if they have to be 16 to get paid or voluntary work?My DD is not 16 until late summer so I am worried about the prospect of a lazy summer being what she is hoping for!!


No they don't, but some places won't take them under 16, for insurance reasons (not sure what happens under 16 as they don't have a national insurance number, but I'm pretty sure that the place my DD works employs under 16s, and it is offical, not cash in hand).


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