Providing work experience opportunities

Ensuring a safe work experience placement


There are a number of things you should ensure are in place before a young person starts their work placement.


You should ensure the young person is covered by your company's public liability and employer's liability insurance. Read more on liability insurance.

In addition:

  • you may be required to provide proof of this liability insurance to the school or college
  • you may also have to sign an indemnity form which the school or college will provide

For further information, download the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Employers' Liability guide (PDF, 305K).

Health and safety

You are responsible for the student's health and safety while they are on placement with you. Read more on what you need to do about health and safety.

Read HSE guidance on work experience.

Legal constraints

Employers should be mindful also of the following legal constraints in place to protect the student.

Students should not:

  • be asked to work outside the hours of 09:00 to 17:00
  • be asked to work more than 36.25 hours per week, excluding travel or lunch breaks
  • work for more than five days in any consecutive seven day period
  • drive, manage, control or move mechanically propelled vehicles
  • undertake work experience in a place where they are under the statutory age limit
  • work in ways prohibited for under 18s eg on aeroplanes, the airport apron, boats/ships, or portside
  • undertake placements working at heights, in confined spaces or with dangerous substances

Read more on employing children and young people.

Read HSE guidance on what the law says about young people at work.

Risk assessment

You should ensure your risk assessment is up-to-date to include work experience students. Read more on health and safety risk assessment.

Read HSE guidance on risk assessment.

Child protection

Your staff should be made aware of your organisation's child protection policy.

You should consider the following:

  • Do you have you a child protection policy or procedure in place?
  • Basic child protection training is required if there is a named supervisor with responsibility for trainees.
  • Is the named supervisor checked through AccessNI? Read more on AccessNI criminal records checks.
  • A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is required if the employee's specific job purpose includes looking after under 16 work experience students. Read more about the Disclosure and Barring Service.
  • As part of the risk assessment with regards to the placement, have you considered the location, travel and access to confidential material?
  • Instructions and guidance should be given to all employees in relation to bullying, inappropriate behaviour, language, including horseplay. Read more on bullying and harassment.
  • The need for one-to-one work with a single adult should be avoided wherever possible.