Work experience


Did you have to do work experience when you were at school? Do kids still have to do it or has it finally been recognised as a huge waste of everyone’s time?

We had to do two weeks’ worth at the end of Year 10 when the Year 11s were doing their GCSEs. I was really lazy about getting it sorted and when I realised everyone had got their placements at local solicitor’s offices and hair salons I popped into Barnardos in town and asked if I could volunteer there for two weeks. Really easy job, all I did was tidy up the clothes on the rails and steam clothes in the basement. Got extended lunch and breaks too because it’s a children’s charity and they didn’t want to overwork me.

There was one day when we got a load of Ann Summers stuff donated and I had to spend all day in the basement sorting through latex crotchless bodysuits and that with a really weird old lady who worked there. I only realised about an hour in that it wasn’t second-hand and was just end-of-line stock but it was still pretty bizarre.


yep, did mine in a hospital. was absolutely harrowing and put me off a career in medicine.


I had to do it for GCSE and A-Level. The first was in Camden Council where a really nice guy was my mentor who just talked about loads of stuff all the time but in a way that was highly interesting.

The second one was weirdly in Imperial College’s Physics dept (Blackett Lab) with a small group of post-Docs doing PMT analysis (that’s Photomultiplier Tubes) on computers. They were really nice, from all over the world and I sat there and played Duke Nukem on a spare computer.

I dunno, it was probably less of a waste of time than being in school would have been at that point.


yeah, mine was a blast. my uncle took me to his office working for the local council’s roads department.

day one - dicked about checking small gullies for being blocked by branches. went to his bowling club for lunch and stayed there for the rest of the afternoon, telling me not to tell my dad
day two - went to see the site of a new mcdonalds being built and got to have mcdonalds for lunch brought into the portakabin by the franchisee.
day three - went up and around the motorways counting street lights. went to the pub for lunch.
day four - went to see a road being repaved and got to drive the steamroller, the paver, and operate the wee STOP/GO twisty sign. got to keep the hard hat, hi-vis jacket and a set of six “bigfoot” cones to play with in the back garden
day five - spent the day fucking about on their CAD models of the street maps, before fucking off to the local curry house for lunch and then home at 2pm.


Did mine in the community department at the Wolves.

Mainly went out and did little football sessions at local schools and that. Had to dress up as the mascot and wander around Wolverhampton town centre handing out leaflets though on the one day :frowning:


where did you go for lunch on day four?


This sounds like a brilliant week


if I remember rightly, bacon butties from a roadside van a few minutes from the work. that’s where I learned that putting black pudding into things is a cheat code.


Ours was a week long. In previous years the school had a list of employers who’d volunteered places, but a month before it was due to happen, they scrapped that and told us that we’d have to organise it ourselves. Which did force us to phone or write to companies pitching ourselves, but in a small town with no public transport it left a lot of 14 year olds with nothing useful at all.

I typed up letters on our Amiga 1200, and sent them to some architecture firms in the same towns where my parents worked. One said they’d have me for the week and it was really useful actually. I was taken out on site, allowed to draw a fair bit, sketch out ideas for layouts, phone up companies and ask for samples and technical advice, that kind of thing.

I worked there (paid) for a couple of summers afterwards too.


went to a local graphic design firm coz it was closest to my house (zero interest in graphic design). main thing i remember about it was that i was on google and the boss was like ‘what’s that?’ and i go ‘oh it’s a search engine, they’re teaching everyone to use it at school’ and the boss goes ‘o rly’. hopefully he chucked some money into it.


Worked at a small publishing company. They did stuff like Railway World and Nursing weekly or some shite. Absolutely boring as fuck. The guys there were all really nice and friendly but said “whatever you do, just don’t work in publishing, it’s awful” So I didn’t


I also did not arrange my own placement so I got given a place arranged by the school.
I ended up working in Miss Selfridge in Romford. I think I called in sick for the second week as I hated it so much.
I was doing my work experience with another girl I didn’t know and she kept stealing earrings. We had to have our bags searched before we left the shop at any time but she kept shoving earrings into her pockets. It made me feel very uncomfortable.


my gf at the time didn’t sort one and got sent to superdrug, and got ‘fired’ for laughing at a blind woman. she wasn’t very nice.


somehow ended up doing mine at a local solicitors (even though I don’t remember expressing much of an interest in law) . It was deathly dull, they just gave me filing and stuff to do.

My 6th form expected you to do it too - I tried to swing it so I could just work for a week in the supermarket I worked at anyway, but my dickhead boss there wouldn’t sign the forms unless I worked for free. No way I was doing that, so I just didn’t do anything. I was vaguely expected to come into the 6th form and “do stuff” but I think I just stopped going in by the Wednesday

Schools do still do it - my eldest helped out at a local clothes clothes designer (I think), younger daughter worked at a nursery


2nd hand record shop, sat in awkward silence for a week with the owner


I worked in a sign-making factory. (I think I had visions of it being some kind of creative, artisan workshop when it was in fact just really smelly and boring). I remember there being soft porn EVERYWHERE: topless calendars in pretty much every room, copied of the Daily Sport lying about. I also remember that there was a chip shop opposite.

My end-of-work-experience report said that I was shy and that I rushed my work. Ungrateful sods: they got two weeks of unpaid labour out of me.


don’t think we got the option but I worked in a bakery and volunteered at Oxfam anyway


That’s no reason to laugh at her, you cunt!


I wanted a vet clinic but everyone else did too so i got one week at the vets and one week at an disabled adults home. This was the first 2 weeks of year 11 so I had just turned 15 and when u was at the vets, the head nurse tried to make me clean up cat sick and I refused because I knew I wasn’t allowed to touch clinical waste as I was under 16. She was really annoyed that I knew this so made me the tea bitch instead. I saw a dog get put down which was sad, and has to walk a 50kg dog called tyson which was hard and smelly (he had a bum abscess and I had to leave the room during the operation due to the stink). The disabled adults home was great though, we went to the zoo and played lots of card games. There was a time when a lady dropped her trousers for toileting and I was so flustered but luckily someone came by to help. My brother had to do filing in basement full of dead wasps for 2 weeks so I got the better deal I think