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. Work Experience courses 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 11-12 level.
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
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.