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Advice for school-aged students requiring a work experience placement

Arranging work experience

Most schools and colleges encourage their students to undertake work experience before completing their education. At the University, we welcome young people undertaking work experience in our departments. Usually, work experience placements are found through the Cambridge Area Work Experience (AWE) system and the 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 during the course of her/his work with the employer.

If you have been asked to find work experience privately, or would like to do some work experience during the summer holidays (which usually falls out of The Employability Partnership remit), we ask that you go back to your school or sixth form college in the first instance. They will give you a ‘Student's Own Placement Form’ and talk through your options with you. Unfortunately, we do not provide a work-experience finding service but, if we are made aware of a work-experience vacancy within the University, we will inform The Employability Partnership. As an alternative, you could contact the departments that you are interested in doing some work experience in directly. If you find a department that is prepared to offer you some work-experience, the Temporary Employment Service (TES) can provide advice to the department on how to arrange your placement. TES only provides such advice if your placement is not arranged through The Employability Partnership.

Once a placement is arranged, you and your parent(s)/guardian(s) should read the health and safety risk assessment and details given to you about the placement prepared for you by the department. If you are not clear about any aspect of this information, you must raise the issue with your school/college tutor or your point of contact in the relevant University department before starting your placement.

Work that you can/cannot do

The Employability Partnership will go out and visit the department that you have obtained 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 that you are able to do, according to your age. For more information go to

Advice for adults requiring a work experience placement

If you would like to undertake a short work experience placement (normally of 1-2 weeks) at the University, it is recommended that you identify a few departments that you would be interested in working within. One way that you can do this is to visit our departments' websites and contact them directly to find out if they are able to offer you a placement. If you are offered some work-experience, then the Temporary Employment Service can provide advice to the relevant department on how to arrange your placement.

Data Protection

The full statement about how the University uses your personal information is published at However, as this statement relates to a wide range of employees/workers/visitors to the University, we have highlighted the main points in relation to work experience below.

In broad terms, we use your personal information in order to deliver our contractual obligations to you as an applicant to or successful candidate for work experience, including with regard to the administration of your work experience. 

If successful in your application for work experience, your information will be shared between the University Institution (department) where you undertake your work experience and the central HR Division in order for work experience to be administered correctly.  We supplement your records with information provided in support of your application (e.g. from school/work experience facilitators and parents).

We retain the details of unsuccessful applicants for a year after application. We retain the details of successful applicants for 6 years after completion of the work experience.