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When work experience rolls around, it can be a scary time for Year 12 students. Suddenly, there’s pressure to find a placement that suits you. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for Year 12s looking to learn more about their future career. 

Above all, you should look for a placement that you’re passionate about. Not only will this give you the opportunity to write a great personal statement, but will it will also give you the tools and skills to understand the career you wish to develop in. 

Whether you’re looking for a one-week or two-week placement, the possibilities are endless. Some workplaces are limited to those aged eighteen and over. However, we have included them here because work experience doesn’t always need to be limited to during school. To gain expertise in your chosen industry, you can also sign up for a summer school programme. Remember, the more experience you have, the better it looks on your CV.

Here are some work experience ideas for year 12s for every industry.

Business Work Experience

Are you interested in how business works? Here are some great Year 12 work experience ideas.

  1. Work in an estate agency to learn about real estate.
  2. Work in an HR department to learn about human resources.
  3. Work for an insurance firm.
  4. Work at a consultancy firm.
  5. Work at the ‘Big Four’ (PwC, EY, Deloitte, and KPMG).
  6. Shadow a project manager who works in a field you’re interested in.
  7. Shadow a data analyst at a company like Microsoft’s Purple Frog Systems.

Find out about our Business Management career summer programme

Creative Arts Work Experience

Creative arts is a broad field that covers art, drama, and even graphic design. If you’re a creative person who loves the arts, here are some options.

  1. Work at an art gallery or museum.
  2. Work at a cinema in management, learning how to schedule films.
  3. Work at an art auction to learn more about value and sales.
  4. Work at a graphic design agency.
  5. Work at a theatre as an usher or backstage.
  6. Shadow an interior designer.
  7. Volunteer at crafts events in churches, schools, and community centres.
  8. Participate in art, design, or photography workshops and showcase your own art.

Engineering and Architecture Work Experience

Engineering and architecture have a lot in common; so much so that their work experience placements are similar. Here are some ideas to help you learn more about design and construction.

  1. Join the Royal Town Planning Institute’s 1-Week Work Experience Programme (or work at another urban planning company).
  2. Try the British Airways engineering work experience program (or work with another airline).
  3. Shadow an architect or an engineer.
  4. Work with a motorsports team.
  5. Work at a builder’s merchant. You might have to be 18 to access a building site, but you can learn about stock replenishment, customer service, and more in a builder’s merchant.

For career experience, find out about our Engineering summer programme

Environment and Geography Work Experience

Whether you’re interested in physical or human geography, there are plenty of work experience opportunities.

  1. Volunteer at the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Awards Scheme.
  2. Volunteer at a nature reserve through The Wildlife Trust.
  3. Do a placement with the British Geological Survey.
  4. Work at the Met Office through the MetLink work experience scheme.
  5. Shadow a geologist (you can find one through the Geologist’s Online Directory).
  6. Shadow a travel agent to learn more about tourism.
  7. Volunteer at an environmental charity to take part in fundraising.
  8. Work at an urban planning company.

Event Planning and Management Work Experience

Interested in a career in management? Event planning could be for you; or, look at management roles in a field that interests you.

  1. Shadow a local business manager.
  2. Shadow an event planner.
  3. Volunteer at a non-profit or charity to help them plan an event or fundraiser.
  4. Work at an events venue (such as a concert hall, function room, or wedding venue).
  5. Work at a local event or festival (note: some festivals are only open to those over 18).
Fashion work experience

Fashion Work Experience

Breaking into the fashion industry can be a challenge, so work experience is highly valuable. Here are some work experience ideas for Year 12.

  1. Volunteer with a costume maker.
  2. Shadow a fashion designer.
  3. Volunteer at a fashion show.
  4. Work at a local boutique or clothing store.
  5. Work with a stylist on photo shoots.
  6. Intern at a fashion magazine.
  7. Create your own fashion portfolio.
  8. Shadow a personal shopper.

Find out more about our Fashion & Design career-led summer programme

Finance and Banking Work Experience

For students taking maths, finance and banking are ideal sectors to work in. Here are some work experience ideas.

  1. Work at a bank to learn about counting money and keeping it secure.
  2. Work at an accountancy firm.
  3. Work at a credit union.
  4. Work at a fintech startup.
  5. Shadow a financial advisor or accountant.
  6. Volunteer with a financial literacy program.

Find out more about our Banking and Finance work experience programme

Foreign Languages Work Experience

If you’re taking a language at A Level or considering studying linguistics, here are the best work experience ideas.

  1. Work at a translation agency.
  2. Try AST Language Services’ work experience placement if you’re studying German.
  3. Work at an embassy.
  4. Volunteer at a foreign language class.
  5. Volunteer at a language school.
  6. Volunteer at a language club.
  7. Work at a tourist information centre.
  8. Work at an airport.

Healthcare Work Experience

As a Year 12, there are more work experience placements available to you in the healthcare sector than there were in Year 10. You may need to be 18 to access some of these roles, though.

  1. Check out placements at Step Into the NHS.
  2. Work at your local GP surgery.
  3. Work at a dental surgery.
  4. Shadow a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional.
  5. Work at a local clinic.
  6. Work at a pharmacy as a counter assistant (you may need to be over 18; see the ABPI guide for more information).
  7. Create a health and wellness initiative.
  8. Work at a mental health clinic or hospital (you may need to be over 18).
  9. Explore allied health professions like physical therapy.

History Work Experience 

If you’re looking for history work experience, there are plenty of exciting options.

  1. Try the Natural History Museum’s work experience program (or work at another museum).
  2. Join the National Archives’ work experience placement (or work at another archive).
  3. Volunteer with the War Memorials Trust.
  4. Work with the Tudor Tailor, or get work experience with a historical costume maker.
  5. Get virtual work experience in history through Historic England.
  6. Volunteer with a heritage conservation scheme.
  7. Volunteer with an archaeology group or club.
  8. Work as a tour guide.
  9. Work at a local historical building.

Hospitality Work Experience

Hospitality is a vast sector, which means there are tons of work experience opportunities. You won’t be able to work behind a bar unless you’re 18, but there are still plenty of learning opportunities.

  1. Work in a restaurant, either in the kitchen or as front-of-house staff.
  2. Work in a cafe as a barista, waiter, or another role.
  3. Work in a hotel as a cleaner, receptionist, or a variety of other roles.
  4. Work for a catering company.
  5. Work at a spa.
Guy working in an engineering work placement

IT and Technology Work Experience

If you’re good with computers, work experience can be a valuable leg-up into the tech industry. There are a lot of sub-sectors in this field, so try to find something that excites you.

  1. Join the Cisco Pathway To Your Future Work Experience program, or work at another technology company.
  2. Work in a computer shop either selling computers or doing repairs.
  3. Shadow your school’s IT department.
  4. Work at a video game company to learn about coding.
  5. Work on tech support or at an IT help desk.

Journalism and Media Work Experience

Hands-on experience in journalism and media will help you go far in your career. Try these work experience ideas.

  1. Work at a TV studio like ITV, Tiger Aspect, or Endemol Shine UK. However, you must be over 18 for these opportunities.
  2. Work at Penguin Random House or another publishing company. Again, you must be over 18.
  3. Work at a local newspaper.
  4. Work at a local blogging site.
  5. Work at a local radio station.
  6. Work at a podcast studio.
  7. Work at a magazine in a field that interests you.
  8. Shadow employers at an editing house.

Law Work Experience

Working in law can be tricky for students, because lawyers may deal with sensitive information. You can still get work experience in this field, though.

  1. Volunteer with the Youth Justice Resource Hub.
  2. Work at a law firm dealing with family law, corporate law, or criminal law.
  3. Observe courtroom proceedings.
  4. Shadow a lawyer, paralegal, or legal assistant.
  5. Shadow a legal case manager.
  6. Work for a legal aid firm or non-profit organisation.

Find out about our Law career focused summer programmes

Marketing and Advertising Work Experience

There are tons of available work experience opportunities in marketing and advertising. Try the following. 

  1. Work at a marketing firm.
  2. Work at an advertising agency, either in the analytics or creative department.
  3. Work at a content marketing agency.
  4. Work at a PR company.
  5. Shadow a social media manager.
  6. Work in communications.

Find out more about our Marketing and Entertainment career summer programme

Photography and Film Work Experience

For fields like photography, it’s often best to get hands-on experience by doing your own projects. Here are some other ideas for this industry.

  1. Shadow a professional photographer.
  2. Assist on film sets.
  3. Shadow a cinematographer.
  4. Work for a documentary filmmaker.
  5. Work at a portrait gallery.
  6. Volunteer at a film festival.
Hand hold microphones

Politics Work Experience

Politics is one field where networking is key. Work experience can help you meet people in this field, which is why it’s extremely beneficial for politics students.

  1. Volunteer for a political campaign.
  2. Shadow a campaigner or local politician.
  3. Work at your local council.
  4. Shadow a political journalist.
  5. Work for a thinktank or poll taker. 

Retail Work Experience

Like hospitality, there are plenty of jobs available in retail. These roles can teach you more about customer service, sales, inventory management, merchandising, and more.

  1. Work in a local shop.
  2. Shadow a visual merchandiser.
  3. Shadow a retail manager.
  4. Work at an e-commerce retailer like ASOS or Bohoo.
  5. Volunteer at pop-up shops and events.

Science and Research Work Experience

Some research projects require you to be over 18 to join. However, there are still plenty of ways to explore this field.

  1. Join the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) work experience program, or work at another lab.
  2. Work at a research centre as an assistant.
  3. Work at a science museum (some require you to be 18).
  4. Work at an astronomical observatory.
  5. Shadow a researcher or scientist.

Social Work and Community Outreach Work Experience

Social work can be a sensitive field, so you may need qualifications to work in this industry. Although some jobs are closed off, there are still ways to learn more about social work in Year 12.

  1. Volunteer with the Trussel Trust or another food bank.
  2. Volunteer with Age UK or another charity.
  3. Work at a charity shop to learn about handling money.
  4. Work at a community centre.
  5. Assist in a retirement home.

Software and Coding Work Experience

We already mentioned video game companies in this list, but there are plenty of other ways to learn about coding.

  1. Join the Softwire Year 12 Work Experience program.
  2. Work as a coding intern.
  3. Work at a software firm.
  4. Shadow a UX or UI designer.
  5. Work with the development team at a startup.

Sports Work Experience

Whether you’re interested in fitness, coaching, or just love sports, here are some work experience ideas.

  1. Work at a local sports club, with roles varying from gardener to referee.
  2. Shadow a coach.
  3. Shadow a personal trainer.
  4. Shadow a sports commentator.
  5. Shadow people at a sports media company.
  6. Work at a gym.
  7. Work at a golf course.
  8. Work at your school sports club.
  9. Work at a sports shop.
  10. Volunteer at sporting events.
  11. Volunteer as an umpire or referee.
  12. Create your own coaching plans and coach your friends or family.
Immerse students participating at school

Teaching and Childcare Work Experience

It can be challenging to find teaching and childcare roles while still in school. Nevertheless, there are several ways to find the relevant experience.

  1. Volunteer with Pioneer Childcare or another nursery (though most nurseries require you to be over 18).
  2. Work at a primary or secondary school.
  3. Work at your current school with teachers, maintenance staff, or IT technicians.
  4. Work in a soft play area.
  5. Shadow an ESL teacher.
  6. Volunteer at a youth club.
  7. Become a childminder or babysitter.
  8. Tutor younger students in a subject you’re good at, perhaps tutoring GCSE students.

Veterinary Work Experience

If you love animals, there are plenty of veterinary work experience placements that can help you get a job later down the line.

  1. Volunteer at a zoo.
  2. Work at a dog home.
  3. Work at a cattery.
  4. Work on a farm.
  5. Shadow at a vet clinic.
  6. Become a local dog walker (you can even make some money from this one).

Vocational Work Experience

There are tons of opportunities for vocational work experience in a huge range of fields. Here are some to consider.

  1. Work at a car garage.
  2. Work at a carpentry business.
  3. Shadow a plumber or an electrician.
  4. Work at a hairdresser or shadow a beautician.

Get Hands-On Work Experience with Immerse

Work experience is an important part of your education. Not only does it teach you soft skills like communication and organisation, but it also gives you a key insight into your future career. That’s why picking the right work experience program is crucial.

Check out Immerse Education’s Career Insights summer programmes to get practical work experience in London, New York, or San Francisco, in an industry of your choice.

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