Work Experience in Oxfordshire

Work experience is part of your study programme and involves spending time in a real work place, doing work
Two people in a science lab using a computer

Work experience involves spending time with a real employer, working alongside employees. It is a great way to experience the roles and responsibilities of real jobs.

Crucial: All students should have work experience no matter where they are studying. 

Work Experience in Year 10

Your school should help you arrange your work experience, though you are usually offered the opportunity to find a placement yourself. You should talk to your Work Experience Co-Ordinator or form tutor about work experience. 

Experience: I was grateful to be given the chance to find out about the service and be able to develop my IT skills. I also got to learn how to work in the office environment and to be more independent when tasks were set. - Bonnie, 15

Work Experience 16+

Your 16+ study programme may include work experience. Work experience is arranged by your place of study, many young people also choose to get work experience through doing a part-time job, alongside study. 

Crucial: If you are not in education, employment, or training (NEET), work experience is often part of your getting ready to work programme.

Work experience while job-seeking

Work experience isn’t just for when you’re at school. Doing work experience, volunteering, or an internship lets you get more experience for your CV. You can gain work readiness skills such as:

  • Managing your time
  • Reliability
  • Writing, IT or technical skills

You can get work experience through volunteering, Traineeships, ready-for work programmes (ask your JobCentre+ advisor or a worker at a NEET drop-in or Job Club), and through local Training Providers.

Crucial: Safety is very important while doing work experience. Before you start you should fill in an application form and have a health and safety discussion to make sure you know how to work safely.

Work Experience age 18+

Work experience doesn't stop when you are 18. There are lots of different opportunities, including volunteering, internships, and more. 

What you decide to do doesn't need to be related to your chosen career.

Experience: Most people have some breaks in employment when they are moving from learning to work, applying for jobs, between short contracts or waiting for agency , but don't worry, you can turn this to your advantage. You always gain something from your work experience. - Hattie

Work experience with

Every year, young people from Oxfordshire schools work on as part of our work experience scheme. Young people have worked on development, design, user testing, creating content, and more. 

Here's a piece one of our work experience students wrote:

After receiving my placement from my school, I wrote a letter to the team confirming and thanking them for my placement. I received an e-mail within the next three days containing all the information about my placement, including what I would be doing. I was really excited as it was an opportunity to try and learn completely new things. 

I was quite nervous before I started but upon meeting the team I was warmly welcomed. I was first given a quick tour of the building and was pleasantly surprised by it as you can’t really see in from the outside so I didn’t know what to expect. Before starting work, I had to complete some training courses which took about two hours in total. Although this sounds like a long time, the courses were quite interesting as they were full of information I didn’t know before. 

I would recommend applying for work experience no matter what your interests are. - Liam, age 15

Find out more


Posted by Valli Yanni
Posted ago
Looking for a work experience in the summer for our son who is almost 16, doing his GCSE this year. He is interested in studying engineering for university. Any advice? Thanks.

Hello, normally it would be your school or college organising work experience but a couple of the more interesting opportunities in Oxfordshire are: Rutherford Appleton Laboratory which is located in Didcot, and Science Oxford which also run regular clubs and activities for young people interested in science and engineering.

Hi im inquiring on behalf of my daughter Hannah who wishes to experience Laboratory environment particularly in research. she is studying triple science and feels that a career along this path would incredibly interesting and satisfying. could you please forward some advise on how to secure year 10 work experience for this year within your industry. thank you in anticipation. Vince
Posted by
Posted ago

In reply to by VINCE COULL (not verified)

Hello, normally it would be your school or college organising work experience but a couple of the more interesting opportunities in Oxfordshire are: Rutherford Appleton Laboratory which is located in Didcot, and Science Oxford which also run regular clubs and activities for young people interested in science and engineering.

Posted by Erica Styles
Posted ago
Hello, I'm looking for ideas for a Yr 10 work placement for my son who is interested in sport? Many thanks

Hello, thank you for your comment. I recommend that you contact local Gyms and Leisure Centres directly to see if they offer work experience placements.  

Posted by M Taylor
Posted ago
Could you please advise on the minimum age for students to undertake work experience placements? Also, do OCC have a department that organises work experience placements or a database of employers willing to be involved?

Thank you for your enquiry, M Taylor. Organising Work Experience is the responsibility of the school or college. Schools usually organise work experience in Year 10, though some choose to wait until Year 11. Work experience may also take place during 16+ education. It would be very unusual to do work experience at a younger age, although some kinds of work (for example, acting or modelling) are done at younger ages (see working legally for more details).

Oxfordshire County Council do not have a department with responsibility for organising work experience and we do not hold a database of local employers.

Posted by Claudia McDonald
Posted ago

Hi I’m looking for work experience for my son in Yr 10. He is interested in digital art. Do you have any ideas please.
Many thanks

Hello Claudia, thank you for your comment. In Year 10 it should be down to your son's school, so I would recommend your son speaks with his careers adviser or work experience coordinator, or their head of year. 

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