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Preparing you for work

Giving you the skills to make you stand out

Industry Placements

Find a career you’ll love and strengthen your CV with exciting and meaningful work experience opportunities. Our dedicated teams are here to help you find them.

We work in partnership with employers such as: Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, Investment 20/20, Ernst & Young LLP, Price Waterhouse Cooper, Taylor Wessing LLP - to name a few!

Why do it?

Nowadays, all employers – from the multinational to small businesses – value candidates who have work experience. It’s a fantastic way to:

  • Develop skills like problem-solving, communication and team work
  • Learn how to prioritise your time as you balance studies with everyday responsibilities
  • Connect with people in your chosen industry and create a network for future jobs.

It will also look great on job, apprenticeship or university applications. Lots of our students are offered holiday work and even part or full-time jobs when they finish a placement. And everyone gets some kind of feedback or reference from their employer.

I’m studying for a professional qualification – do I have to do work experience?

Yes! A big part of taking a professional route is building your confidence in the workplace. You’ll need to:

  • Do at least 30 hours of work experience placements per year – this could be a couple of hours a week or a whole day, depending on your timetable
  • Complete a ‘work readiness’ check before you start your placement
  • Be prepared to pay for some aspects of your placement, if they apply – for example, a DBS check if you’re working with children or vulnerable adults. Talk to Student Services if you think you may be eligible for a bursary.

Some of our professional courses, such as Health & Social Care, Early Years and Animal Care include extended placements. These involve working one or two days a week for a longer period of time.

What if I’m doing A-Levels?

You can of course still do a placement if it fits in with your studies. Simply talk to our Work Experience team in the library at the Seevic or Palmer’s Campus. They’ll find out more about what you’re interested in and contact local employers to help secure you a placement.

USP Futures

Give something back to your community. Gain valuable skills you can’t get in the classroom. And have fun along the way. Our volunteering team, USP Futures, can help you find some inspiring opportunities.

Why volunteer?

Like work experience, voluntary service offers you the chance to build your skills and get a taste of different professional sectors – ideal if you’re not sure about what career you’d like to do.

It’s also a great way to look beyond college and see that there’s more to life than just getting good grades. By helping others, you can find out more about the world, understand the difficulties people face, and be part of an important community.

Voluntary Service

Our voluntary services team, USP Futures, runs an organised programme from September to May. During this time, you’ll:

  • Volunteer one afternoon a week in a community setting – for example, in a school, nursery, care home, charity shop or at a nature reserve
  • Meet regularly with your voluntary service teacher to discuss your progress
  • Keep a weekly diary of your attendance and activities
  • Produce a reflective piece of work to show what you’ve learnt.

At the end of the course, you’ll be invited to an exciting awards event. And you’ll get a certificate to recognise your amazing contribution!

Preparing to Teach Taster Programme

Think you’d like to teach but not completely sure? Want to teach but don’t know whether you’d prefer to teach at a primary or secondary school? Interested in working with pupils with Special Educational Needs?

This taster programme is a great opportunity to find out if a teaching career is for you. You’ll experience life in the classroom from the teacher’s perspective so you can make a really informed decision.

Run by the Thurrock Teaching School Alliance, the course is designed to be as practical as possible and doesn’t involve coursework or written assignments. Instead, you’ll:

  • Take part in workshops on a variety of subjects like planning lessons, managing student behaviour, marking and feedback
  • Teach ‘micro lessons’ to pupils
  • Visit local primary, secondary and SEN schools
  • Visit Canterbury Christchurch University to discover routes into teaching.

The programme is timetabled one morning a week from October to March.