Work experience

Students on work experienceHelps you find out how work is different from school

During Year 10 or Year 11 your school may offer you the chance to go on work experience. A part-time job or voluntary work are also good ways to get some work experience.

Why go on work experience? Well it...

  • gives you the chance to find out how a local company works
  • helps you think about your future
  • develops new skills and
  • lets you see see how you cope and learn to adapt to being in an adult environment
  • could help you sample the type of work you're thinking of but whatever work experience you do will help
  • shows you the difference between work and education
  • looks great on your CV and you may get a reference

Employers really value work experience

Find out all you need to know before you go, read:

What you need to know about Work Experience a guide for studentsWhat you need to know about work experience - a guide for students view online (177kb SWF) or print (212kb PDF).

When and how does it happen?

Most schools offer work experience in Year 10 or Year 11, some organise it for older students aged between 16 and 19. It usually takes place over one or two weeks during the school year. A few schools arrange work experience one day a week. 

Student on the Nexus in School programmeIf you're aged aged 16 to 24 and have an EHC (Education, Health and Care) plan, you may be able to do a supported internship or join Nexus-in-School, the extended work experience programme for Year 11 students who are in school but would benefit from more practical work-related learning alongside studying a reduced number of GCSEs. For more information contact Nathaniel on 01484 225500 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our work experience team supports and organises work experience for many local schools. The team visits placements for the students of these schools to make sure they are safe and suitable. We will ask you to fill in an application form, so it gives you experience of applying for work. And it tells us a litlle about you and your interests. Not all schools offer work experience, so ask your school.

Who decides where you go?

As far as possible you do. We have a list of placements for you to choose from but you can also find your own. If you find a placement, it will need to go through our checks to make sure you are safe and have a good experience. Check out the Young Workers website to find out more about going on work experience and staying safe. Placements outside Calderdale and Kirklees will need checking out by an agency in that area - they may charge you for this service. The law also says what young people can and can't do at workIf you can't find a placement, we will try and find one that best matches what you asked for on your application form, so you at least get to find out what full-time work is like.



Courtney and Josh

Find out how Courtney and Josh found work experience a useful part of their summer internship, helping them gain the confidence and skills they need for their future career plans or read it (68kb PDF). The internship was run by C&K Careers, on behalf of North Area Council, Barnsley.

Contact your careers adviser in school to find out more ...

... ring 01484 225500 and press '0' to speak to someone who can help;
email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Page updated January 2018

Choosing your options

Student choosing optionsYour school will ask you to choose the subjects you'll study in Year 10 and Year 11...

...during Year 8 or Year 9

There's lots of support and information to help you choose - tell us what you think about Directions 2018 - our options booklet

At your school's option choice evening your:


              • Most jobs want some GCSEs but don't ask for specific GCSEs or other qualifications. Some ask for English, maths and sometimes science but you have to study these anyway.
              • Choose subjects you enjoy and do well in, think about new subjects and the importance of each to your career ideas.
              • Think about the type of person you are, rather than what your friends want to do, the teachers you like or whether you are a boy or girl.
              • Think about how you like to learn, exams or coursework
              • Do your research – into qualifications and careers.
              • Not all GCSE subjects will be offered by your school but most will.

The Government is encouraging more young people to study STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects because they will give you the skills you need for a wide range of jobs but remember it's important to make sure you choose a course or subjects that you like and are good at. Check out the Your Life website to see the careers available when you study science and maths.


                • Login and search careersinfo logo for information on subjects, your career ideas and Directions, our Year 8 and Year 9 workbook:
Directions 2018

Directions - choosing your options in Year 8 and 9, including the things you need to think about. 


Page updated November 2017

Tell us what you think about Directions 2018

We'll use your feedback to help us improve next year’s booklet


Page updated March 2018


Beginning to think about yourself and your future?

Young person thinking of the futureIt isn’t too soon to start...

...learning new skills and about the world of work. The sooner you start the more you'll be ready to make decisions in the future about your learning and career plans – the career you choose will affect:

  • your lifestyle and income
  • your outlook on life
  • the friends you make

Careers lessons and information in school, as well as help and advice from your careers adviser will help you get ready to make these decisions.


You Are Amazing

Check out Kirklees and what it has to offer. See how your career ideas might change, what jobs are likely to be on offer in Kirklees in the future, what skills you'll need and how to get them.

Think about how you've changed, your ideas about jobs have changed and how you might start to think about jobs and careers now you're older. All jobs are for everyone, so it's not too soon to get thinking and planning. Watch the 'Amazing' video or read it (78kb PDF). Also available on our You Tube channel.

Career timeline CKOur Career Timeline suggests when to start thinking about your future learning and career plans 
(58kb PDF).

Get started on your career journey with the job profiles on the National Career Service website

Struggling to understand some of the 'careers' words and phrases, check out our Careers Jargon Buster
(118kb PDF).

Page updated November 2016

Starting school

Young people starting schoolSecondary school may seem a big step

Most Year 7s feel nervous, some are just better at hiding it than others.

To help you with the move to your new school, most high schools and academies have transition days – days when you visit your new school, meet your new teachers and start to make new friends.

It will probably take some of you a bit longer than others to settle in, find your way around all the buildings and get used to having a teacher for each subject. If you are worried, talk to your form teacher or head of year, they'll do their best to help.

Travelling to school, learning new subjects and busy corridors, can be a big change.

Use this Metro journey planner to find out which bus you will need to get to school from your home (you will need both your home address and your school address).

The internet will be an important part of your learning, so make sure you stay safe online:

Don't post private information online

Don't share your password

Make sure you use the privacy settings on the sites you use

Only talk to people you know and DON'T meet up with people you meet online

If you are worried, tell an adult

Page updated January 2016

Our careers advisers are based at:

Head Office
C & K Careers Ltd
78 John William Street

T: 01484 225500
F: 08724 464511