I’m a work placement organiser
Organising work experience placements comes with many responsibilities to your students, your employers and to the hosting organisation. It is important to know the risks and responsibilities when organising work experience for students.
The good news is that the placement provider has the primary responsibility for managing significant risks. They are also responsible for the health and safety of work experience students. They need to be aware of the specific factors involved in employing young people. You need to be satisfied that they are doing this. So talking through what the students will do is an important part of the process. It’s a good idea to keep a record of these conversations.
You should also work with parents to establish whether students may be at greater risk. For example, do they have any health conditions or learning difficulties? Employers can then consider this when allocating work.
Of course, the degree of risk varies depending on the working environment. Office or shop placements are generally low risk environments. This can be covered as part of the wider discussion on the work experience placement.
If the work placement is in an environment with higher risks then more extensive induction, supervision and site familiarisation steps may need to be taken. Of course, it may be that the student isn’t going to be working specifically in these higher risks areas. But you need to be satisfied that the correct arrangements have been made.
You also need to establish that students know how to raise any health and safety concerns they may have.