We are often asked by young people, or their parents, if we will take students on a work placement. Much of the work on Ashdown Forest consists of 1:1 working with a member of staff, and, as none of the staff at Ashdown Forest have a Disclosure and Barring Services check we are unable to offer a work placement to any young person under the age of 18 years. (Anyone who has not reached their 18th birthday is defined as a child in UK law.)
We are better placed to help young people over the age of 18. Applicants need to make a formal application for a work placement as soon as possible – we cannot help with last minute applications. Applicants need to send us their CV and provide details of their college course and their aspirations. Applicants who are shortlisted will then have a brief interview, so we can find out about you and give you a chance to ask us questions to make sure the placement is right for you.
UK law says the placement provider must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that their employees, including students on work experience, are not exposed to risks to their health and safety and they must adhere to the following legislation:
- The Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children Act 1920
- The Health and Safety (Training for Employment) Regulations 1990
- The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
- The Employers Liability Compulsory Insurance Act 1969
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992
- The Working Time Regulations 1998
- Health and Safety Responsibilities
Students participating in work experience are regarded as the placement provider's employees for the purpose of health and safety. Placement providers should take account of any extra precautions required for young persons.
Risks to young workers must be assessed before they start work, and the placement organiser be informed of the key findings of the risk assessment and control measures. The risk assessment must take into account specific factors such as immaturity, inexperience and lack of awareness, and medical conditions, physical and learning disabilities of the student.