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Skillset: Guidelines for Employers offering Work Placement Schemes in the Publishing Industries

Skillset: Guidelines for Employers offering Work Placement Schemes in the Publishing Industries

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Published by j_townend
Latest guidelines for employers offering work placements in the publishing industry, via the NUJ.
Latest guidelines for employers offering work placements in the publishing industry, via the NUJ.

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Published by: j_townend on Feb 22, 2011
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 Guidelines for Employers offeringWork Placement Schemes in thePublishing Industries
Work placement schemes provide opportunities and benefits to both individuals andemployers. They are a useful way for those wishing to enter the publishing industries togain an insight in to the sector and to make informed career choices. For employers,they are an opportunity to improve the skills of new entrants, raise the profile of careeropportunities available within the organisation and develop management skills forexisting staff. For individuals, they provide the opportunity to acquire new skills in astructured environment, and increase opportunities for future employment.However, an oversupply of people wishing to enter the industry has resulted in therepresentation of publishing as being notoriously hard to break in to, with a culture of lowor unpaid entry positions. Available roles often go to the few with the right connections,rather than those with the most talent and potential. Provisions should therefore be inplace for promoting fair and equitable access to all entry routes, thereby opening themup to candidates from all backgrounds. Fair opportunities should exist for both peoplewho wish to embark on a career and for those who wish to move on in their careers inthe publishing industries.These guidelines have been developed to provide clarity over the different termsassociated with work-based learning programmes, including Volunteering, WorkExperience Placements, Internships and Apprenticeships, and a set of best practiceguidelines for employers. Case studies have been included to illustrate how theseroutes work in best application.
These guidelines are primarily aimed at those who are over the age of 19. Please note that organisations offering placements to the 14-19 age group will be subject to additional legislation. For further information on this age group please see the Work Related Learning Guide produced by DCSF, available at: 
Please also see the following organisations own work experience guidelines relating to their sector of the publishing industry: Professional Publishers Association http://www.ppa.co.uk/jobs-careers-and-training/human-resources/ptc-work-experience- guidelines/ 
Part 1
Types of Work-Based Learning Programmes
The Home Office defines volunteering as ‘an activity thatinvolves spending time, unpaid, doing something that aimsto benefit the environment or individuals or groups otherthan (or in addition to) close relatives.’Volunteers must not be bound to any particular shift rota orset number of working hours per week, though these can besuggested if appropriate; their help must remain at all timesa fully optional activity.Employers must provide volunteers with appropriate, safe and insured workspaces, andshould assist volunteers with any administration related to their role (such as CriminalRecords Bureau checks).Employers should commit to providing volunteers with at least the basic level of trainingnecessary to carry out the tasks requested of them, and should consider providingfurther training for the volunteer according to the development of the volunteer’s role andtheir own aspirations. Volunteers should be assigned a mentor or manager, and theirprogress monitored. Those managing volunteers should be properly trained to providethe necessary support, and this role should be reflected in their own job descriptions andevaluation procedures.Further useful guidance on an employer’s role in recruiting volunteers can be found inthe
Report of the Commission on the Future of Volunteering
Compact Code of Good Practice: Volunteering
, available at:www.thecompact.org.uk/shared_asp_files/GFSR.asp?NodeID=100323 The following case study illustrating best practice in Volunteering is available inAppendix 1 and also on the Skillset website at the link below.
Manchester Museum (The University of Manchester) Volunteer Programme
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.

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