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School-aged students

The University supports co-operation with the local community to provide work experience placements for students, normally for 1-2 weeks. Only students in school year 10 and above (not including accelerated students) may engage in work experience and the relevant school/college will have arrangements for checking and monitoring placements.

Employers and Public Liability Insurance

Students on work experience schemes are treated as employees for the purpose of personal injury insurance. The Employers Liability Policy covers students against accident or injury caused to the student by the negligence of the employer or another employee. The Public Liability Policy provides cover for the employer, against liability for loss or damage or injury caused by the student while he/she is acting as a servant of the employer, to other employees or to a third party.

Cambridge Area Work Experience (AWE) System & Personal Accident Insurance

Under the Cambridge AWE System, the administration of work experience placements for school-aged students, including liaison between schools and employers, is co-ordinated by The Employability Partnership. As part of this system the Local Education Authority (LEA) provides additional personal accident insurance to cover the student against injury to herself/himself caused by accident during the course of her/his work with the employer. The Cambridge AWE system works well; it recognises that the employer has a duty of care to the student but also that the school or further education college has a similar duty.

The Employability Partnership may visit the department that has offered a work experience placement in to see if the role is suitable, conduct a health and safety risk assessment and talk to the department about child protection and lone working issues. There are legal restrictions on the type and hours of work the student is able to do, according to age. Please contact The Employability Partnership for further information (email enquiries@employabilityps.co.uk, tel. 01223 650024).

Work experience out of the Cambridge AWE System

Some students seek out their own work experience placements via family and other contacts. Without the support of The Employability Partnership, there is a danger that arrangements for monitoring placements and insurance requirements may be unintentionally overlooked. It is always advised to ask the student to go back to their school in the first instance, who will provide them with a ‘Student's Own Placement Form’ and talk through their options with them. However, if the placement is to happen in the summer holidays, this falls out of The Employability Partnership remit as the placement cannot be monitored by the school. Here a private arrangement will need to be made directly between the student and the relevant University department. In these situations, particular attention needs to be given to:

Key Actions Required

Any department/institution which is planning to offer work experience should advise TES in advance, providing details of the activities that the student will be undertaking, the risk assessment completed, any particular requirements that the student has (e.g. adjustments needed for a disability), the student's name, date of birth, school or college, dates of the planned work experience, and details of how the placement was arranged (e.g. through the AWE Partnership or privately) and the department/institution point of contact for overseeing and monitoring the work experience placement

The Health and Safety (Young Persons) Regulations 1997 require that particular attention is paid to the safety of young people at work. The regulations apply to young people who are on work experience placements within a department/institution who are under the age of 18. In order to comply with these regulations and University policy, you will need to:

  • Carry out an HR33 risk assessment of the areas in which the young person will carry out their work experience, as required by the Children and Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding Policy. This is to be done prior to the start date of the placement. If the placement was arranged via The Employability Partnership, you will also have to complete a Placement Sheet.
  • As part of the risk assessment, consider whether health screening may be required for the student. Contact the University's Occupational Health Service for specific advice if you are unsure.
  • Communicate that the risk assessment has been carried out to the young person and their parents. This should be done via the student's school, unless the placement has been arranged privately. Where the placement has been arranged by the Employability Partnership, they will forward the Placement Sheet to the student and their parents.
  • Ensure that all members of the department/institution who will be working with the student during their work experience have read the Children and Vulnerable Adults Safeguarding Policy.

In addition, you must ensure that you carry out a right to work check for all those undertaking work experience who are aged 17 and over before they commence their placement. Full details about the right to work checking process can be found within the Recruitment Guidance.

It is not anticipated that those undertaking work experience will be given access to sensitive sites, sensitive information or high value assets or otherwise involved in security-sensitive activities. However, please ensure that you are familiar with the requirements of the Screening Policy (which are applicable to University visitors) and any implications for the work experience you are planning before you confirm any arrangements.

You should note that the regulations applying to young workers concerning hours and breaks also apply to those under 18 undertaking work experience. These regulations can be found on the Working hours and breaks section of the Temporary Employment Service website.

Adults

You may be contacted by adults seeking work experience within your department/institution in order to strengthen their CV. It is permissible to provide such placements if your department/institution is willing and able to do so, providing that:

  • The placement lasts for a maximum of six weeks and is not being used as an alternative to filling a genuine vacancy;
  • The activities that the individual will undertake are planned and up-to-date risk assessments are in place for these;
  • You consider whether health screening may be required. Contact the University's Occupational Health Service for specific advice if you are unsure.
  • Adequate arrangements are put in place for supervising and supporting the individual during their work experience; and
  • You carry out a right to work check before they commence their placement. Full details about the right to work checking process can be found within the Recruitment Guidance.

Adults undertaking work experience are treated as employees for the purpose of personal injury insurance. Our Employer's Liability Policy covers adults against accident or injury caused by the negligence of the employer or another employee. The Public Liability Policy provides cover for the employer, against liability for loss or damage or injury caused by the adult while he/she is acting as a servant of the employer, to other employees or to a third party.

It is not anticipated that those undertaking work experience will be given access to sensitive sites, sensitive information or high value assets or otherwise involved in security-sensitive activities. However, please ensure that you are familiar with the requirements of the Screening Policy (which are applicable to University visitors) and any implications for the work experience you are planning before you confirm any arrangements.

Further information and contact details

If you would like any further information, clarification or support about the safety of young people on work placements, please contact: