Work Experience Placements
Work experience is often undertaken by students as part of a further or higher educationcourse to learn about the working environment of the publishing industries. Students orothers on work experience should be given the chance to try various tasks and developskills that will make them more attractive to prospective employers, but they should notbe relied upon to fulfil roles that are necessary for the organisation and would otherwisebe undertaken by members of staff.Placements can be unpaid provided the individual is not a ‘worker,’ as defined by theNational Minimum Wage legislation as outlined below. However, work experienceplacements should be time limited and should not exceed 160 hours, carried out eitherfull-time over a four week period or part-time over a three month period. If the terms ofthe placement are such that the individual is performing as a ‘worker’, and the placementis not being carried out as part of a further or higher education course, then the NationalMinimum Wage should be adopted throughout the duration of the placement. In bothcases, reasonable and pre-agreed expenses should be reimbursed.Written confirmation of work experience arrangements should be provided prior to thestart date, clearly outlining the terms of the engagement. Where the National MinimumWage applies, it is recommended that a standard, short-term contract is used.
Further guidelines on work experience
have been developed by the Department ofTrade and HM Revenue and Customs, in collaboration with Skillset and are available at:www.skillset.org/tv/jobs/article_5541_1.asp. Whilst they were developed for the TVindustry the principles apply across the publishing Industries.The following case study illustrating best practice in Work Experience Placements isavailable in Appendix 1 and also on the Skillset website at the links below.
Trent Editions Work Experience
Individuals undertaking an internship have a duty to perform meaningful and valuablework for the organisation. Internships are therefore the next level up from workexperience placements. They are usually less structured than a traineeship and tend tobe of shorter duration. Individuals have already gained significant knowledge in theirchosen area and are being given the opportunity to apply the skills they have obtained inthe working environment. The organisation equally gains from the internship in terms ofbusiness value, genuine enthusiasm from the individual and the diversification of theirworkforce.There are two types of internships; 1) StudentInternships carried out by students as part of a courseand, 2) General Internships that are not part of a courseand are open to a broader range of individuals.