Work Experience Program
Work experience is part of an educational program that provides a student with an opportunity to participate in, observe or learn about the performance of tasks and responsibilities related to an occupation or career. Through work experience students will be exposed to and learn the skills necessary to attain and maintain employment.
The community becomes the classroom where students gain knowledge and experience about the workplace and are provided with a frame of reference to review or revise their career goals. Work experience provides students with an opportunity to apply classroom learning in a context outside of school and to bring back to the classroom new perspectives about their learning.
Through work experience students will have the opportunity to observe, learn about and practice employability skills required in the workplace and, in some cases, to practice technical skills relating to specific occupations.
Work Experience 12A and 12B are each 100-120 hours long and worth 4 credits. They may be offered as part of a school’s career programs, or as stand-alone courses. WEX is offered at the grade 10-12 level. They are intended to provide students with the knowledge and skills to be successful in the world of work, the opportunity to explore career paths, and also to practice/refine skills in one career path to be applied to a future career path. The courses are designed to link classroom knowledge and activities to skills and attitudes that are required in the work place.
- Receive four(4) Ministry authorized credits (100-120 hours)
- Fulfills the Graduation Transitions work experience requirement
- Explore career choices to make informed decisions
- Gain valuable experience with workplace situations and equipment
- Increase self-confidence and self-awareness
- Obtain reference and contacts that will assist with future job searches – builds your resume.
The primary goal of work experience is to help students prepare for the transition from secondary school to the world of work. Through work experience, students have the opportunity to observe and practice generic employability skills required in the workplace, as well as technical and applied skills relating to specific occupations or industries.
Other goals include helping students to:
- Connect what they learn in the classroom with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed in the workplace
- Gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to be successful in the world of work
- Develop job readiness skills for specific occupations and careers
- Understand the similarities and differences in behavior standards between the workplace and school
The types of activities that are eligible for work experience courses include:
- Hands-on work experience at a standard work site (business, government, self-employed, non-profit, or volunteer organization)
- Job shadowing a worker at a standard work site
- Career mentoring with a worker at a standard work site
Code of Conduct and Ethics
Students must schedule a meeting with their Work Experience Coordinator and/or Teacher to review the following:
- Demonstration of good attitude and work ethic
- Ability to cooperate with employer and staff
- Evidence of dependability and initiative
- Commitment to give 100% effort to achieve top quality performance
- Assurance to strive for perfect punctuality and attendance
- Organize transportation to/from the worksite
- Respect rules of confidentiality in the workplace
Workplace Monitoring – district staff will inspect the site as well as monitor student placements in person, by phone, by text and/or e-mail.
Student Assessment – Employers will complete evaluations of student performance for school reporting purposes.
Student Record Keeping
Students are required to record and maintain a record of their work experience placement. This record may be used to verify work hours from time to time. In addition, students will be required to complete the following:
Training Plan and Safety Checklist
Work Experience Placement Agreement (fully signed and complete)
Written log of hours worked and duties performed
Resume and cover letter
Student reflection of work placement
How many hours do I need?
At least 90 hours of course time must consist of actual work placements. Total number of hours = 120. The work experience does not need to occur at just one site, but may take place at multiple sites.
Is there an orientation for Work Experience?
All students participating in a work experience course must have an in-school orientation to prepare them for the workplace. The orientation The orientation must include instruction on worksite safety awareness. It may also include topics such as generic employability skills, education skills transferable to the specific work placement, worker rights and responsibilities, and employer expectations.
How is a student assessed and evaluated on their Work Experience
As in any other course, evaluation of work experience courses is based on how well the student has achieved all of the learning outcomes for the course. An educator with a valid teaching certificate must evaluate the performance of all students in work experience courses, and assign final percentages. Although an employer’s evaluation of a student’s performance on a work placement is an important part of the work experience course mark, it is only one aspect in determining the final course mark.