Work Experience

Work Experience in Transition Year is an opportunity to gain experience in a workplace of interest. Schools often give TY students two weeks or 1 day per week for 10 – 14 weeks for work experience. During this time students are expected to work in a business that they have organised a work experience placement with. Students will have to make a CV, work experience letter (Cover Letter) and sometimes give their employer an insurance letter from their school.

Most schools assign two weeks during the school year or 1 day per week for 10 -12 weeks. However, you are usually not restricted to the assigned week and can get permission from your Work Experience Coordinator to have a placement during a normal school week. This obviously depends on how work experience is coordinated in your school, but generally once the placement you have is relevant and useful to you, you should be able to take a normal school week off to do it. Extended work experience would be a bit more difficult to get if your school only permits one day per week for 10 -12 weeks.

Usually you don’t get paid for a work experience placement for various reasons. One of which is because schools recommend employers not to pay their students as you’re doing work experience to get an insight into the workplace, a trade or a career you are interested in. However, some employers do pay students while others give them vouchers and gifts which is more common. It’s best to have the mindset that you won’t be getting paid for a work experience placement.

Yes, you are usually required to make a cover letter to apply for a work experience placement. It’s a different kind of cover letter to one you will need to make when applying for a job as it doesn’t require as much information. It’s generally referred to as a letter for work experience. If you know that you don’t need a cover letter it’s still always good practice to make one as it will help you in the future when you are applying for a job. You can find a template for a work experience letter on TY.ie.

Your CV should contain basic information such as your address, age, email, number, where you went and are going to school, skills, interests, awards and references. You can find more information on what you should put on your CV here.

The maximum working week for young people aged 16 and 17 is 40 hours, with a maximum of 8 hours a day. If a young person under 18 works for more than one employer, the combined daily or weekly hours of work cannot exceed the maximum number of hours allowed. Young persons are only permitted to work between 6am and 10pm. More Information »

Keeping a report of your work experience is a good idea as it will help you to remember what you did, who you were with and what you learned. You can keep a report of your activities throughout the day in a small notepad or your phone. Your report will also help you to write a review and if you need to include a section on work experience in your TY Portfolio.

Unless you are very interested in what your parent does it is advised that you don’t go to their workplace for work experience. You should try your best to get work experience in a place you are interested in rather than going to your parent’s workplace just for the sake of it.