An Employer’s Guide to Work Experience in the Construction Industry
Over the past couple of weeks we’ve been covering the subject of work experience within the construction industry. Most of our blog posts have been aimed at youngsters who have yet to complete their education, but today we’re going to take a look at the world of work experience from the point of view of the employer. As an employer, you might think that taking on young people in order for them to gain work experience would just cost you time and money and be more hassle than it’s worth. Nothing could be further from the truth, however, as there are benefits to be gained by work experience providers as well as by the future workers in the construction industry.
A work experience placement usually last six weeks or so which is enough time for the young person to pick up some of the skills they’ll need in the future and enough time for you, as an employer, to get a good overall idea of the type of worker they are likely to become once they complete their education.
Work experience placements in the construction industry are usually arranged and managed by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) – an organisation dedicated to working with industry to encourage training and help to build a safe, professional and fully qualified workforce here in the UK.
Any employers taking part in the CITB’s Experience Construction Programme will be provided with a good source of available candidates and personal support from a CITB Apprenticeship Officer to ensure that the work experience goes smoothly.
There is no cost to the company providing the work placement and eligible employers receive a payment of up to £200 to support the costs incurred for providing the placement. Some companies to give the work experience candidate a nominal amount to cover the cost of travel, but this is entirely optional. During the work placement, the candidate will be covered by your Employer’s Liability Insurance.
The number of hours worked is agreed upon by the employer and candidate but as an employer you should be aware that they should not be expected to work unsocial or excessively long hours. Neither should a work experience candidate work more than five days in any consecutive seven day period and it’s recommended by CITB that they don’t work more than a standard 8 hour day.
The work experience candidate will be inexperienced and probably have no knowledge of potential health and safety risks, therefore he or she will need to receive a full health and safety induction at the beginning of their time with your company and will also need to be supervised at all times, ideally by a named supervisor. They can be expected to assist experienced tradespeople in your company. At the end of the work experience placement you will be able to offer the candidate an Apprenticeship if you wish and you can arrange this through CITB.
If you’re interested in providing young people with work experience placements or Apprenticeships in your company, then you can find more information by getting in touch