Section 1: Preparing for work placement

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1 Section 1: Preparing for work placement Learning outcomes On completion of this section you should: L01 Understand the function of the company/organisation where you plan to do the work placement Understand what is expected of you during the work placement L03 Be able to set goals to help you get the most out of the work placement Overview Work experience provides you with the opportunity to explore the workplace. It is designed to assist you in the transition from school/college to work, to develop a greater awareness of your abilities and interests and to make appropriate, wellinformed and realistic career decisions. It may also provide experience for those of you who are hoping to return to work after a period of absence. Work placement experience is unique because it means; doing real work in a real organisation; finding out what you are good at; behaving in a safe and responsible way; learning new skills; collecting evidence to display your new skills; working as part of a team. Preparation is the key to achieving the best positive experience from the work placement. This section will provide you with the knowledge, understanding and skills you need to complete a process that prepares you for work experience. It will provide you with the opportunity to find out how to research and identify important information about your work placement, to identify the skills, qualities, behaviours and attitudes required at the placement, and to set goals relating to what you plan to achieve from attending the work placement. The new WorkSkills qualifications will be available from September This unit forms one credit (the full Award is three credits) towards the new BTEC Award in WorkSkills, or as part of a larger WorkSkills qualification such as the Certificate or Diploma. The qualification can also form part of the Additional and Specialist Learning of the Diplomas which includes a minimum of ten days compulsory work experience. Key terms The following key terms are printed in bold throughout the book and are included in the glossary. Whenever you are unsure of what any of the words mean, look them up in the back of the book. associated confidence evacuation jargon social life attendance attitude career colleagues cooperative dependability education enthusiasm function glossary good deed habits policies procedure relationships self-esteem transition travel WorkSkills Activator Level 1 Preparing for work placement M01_WACT_SB_01_3366_U01.indd 9 23/4/08 11:53:49

2 Finding out about the company/organisation L01 Finding out about the work placement P1 P2 P3 Before you go on work placement, your teacher/tutor will help you do some research to find information on what the company/organisation providing the work experience does and where it is located. There are many ways of finding out this information, such as: looking at company leaflets/brochures visiting the Careers Office talking to a learner who has previously been on work placement making contact with your employer using the internet. Before you start, look at the activity on page 11 and think about what you plan to do and the type of information you will need. You might need to look at different types of information before you find what you need, or you might find the information quickly. Use the table below to record your planning and finding the information you need. Information I need Function of the company How to obtain the information Ask my teacher/tutor or careers advisor Information I found Found details in a leaflet given to me by my teacher/tutor Filling in this table will provide evidence for the grading criteria to complete this Learning Outcome. If you run out of space, please continue on another sheet. P1 Name of company/organisation: Address: Explain the main function of the company/organisation? How many people work for the company/organisation? How many national branches does the company/organisation have, if any? How many international branches does the company/organisation have, if any? Location of the company Where is the company/organisation located? Is it near to my home? Is it a large/small company? What type of clothing will I need to wear? Do they have branches in other parts of the country/world? What type of clothing will I need to wear? Transport available to travel to work Facilities staff canteen P2 P3 What are the hours of work? What kind of facilities does the company have for lunch? In what section/department of the company/organisation will I be working? What activities might I be expected to do at the work placement? 10 WorkSkills Activator Level 1 Finding out about the company/organisation WorkSkills Activator Level 1 Finding out about the work placement 11 M01_WACT_SB_01_3366_U01.indd /4/08 11:53:50

3 Preparing to go Preparing to go Making contact with your employer If you do not need to attend an interview for your work placement, you may have to telephone your employer before you start to introduce yourself. You may find the idea of making this telephone call a bit scary, so here are some tips to help you make the call. Prepare for your first day by thinking and planning ahead about the things you will need. My first day Personal appearance a) Highlight the type of clothing listed below that you will be expected to wear at your placement: smart office dress Before you start clothes for outdoor work safety clothing/uniforms/overalls. You will need: b) Are any types of clothes, shoes or jewellery unsuitable? somewhere quiet c) Will your hair need to be tied back/covered up, etc.?... a pen and paper/tape recorder your work experience details, e.g. name of contact, start date, etc. Make a note of the following: Travel How will you get to work? a) Highlight or place a tick by your chosen mode of transport: Employer telephone number: car What you are going to say (fill in the blanks): bus train May I speak to. (name of person you want to speak to), please. walk other. I am (your name) b) How long will it take? c) What time will you have to leave home? from (school/college name). d) If you are using public transport, what will this cost per day/week? I am coming on work experience from (the date you are starting). Lunch What will you do for lunch? Write down any questions you may want to ask. If the person you need to speak to is not available, ask when it would be convenient to speak to them and call back at that time, or leave a message with your personal contact details. Highlight or place a tick beside your preferred choice: take a packed lunch take money to buy lunch at work take money to buy lunch outside M01_WACT_SB_01_3366_U01.indd /4/08 11:53:51

4 Preparing to go Preparing to go Information Health and safety on work placement You will need to read these pages before you go to your placement. What if... I am ill? On your first day you will need to find out what the work placement procedure is for reporting absence. Make sure you know who to pass the message to and when you expect to be back. You will also need to contact your school/college supervisor to let them know. If I am ill, contact: Work Name: Tel No.:.. School/College... I have an accident? All accidents must be reported in a workplace. If you need first aid, even for a small accident (like a cut finger), go to a first aid post or person, then report your accident to the appropriate person. (You will be introduced to the company policies on your first day at placement.) Do not use lifts where a fire is suspected. Name: Tel No.:.. there is a fire or other emergency requiring evacuation from the premises? Make sure you are familiar with the evacuation procedures and know where the fire exits are, how to leave the building safely and where to assemble. It is important that you go to this place quickly so that everyone can be accounted for. It is important that you follow health and safety rules during your work experience placement. Before the placement starts, you should be aware of your responsibility to work safely, so as not to put yourself or your colleagues at risk. Your employer will tell you on your first day what these rules are, and what sort of work you will be allowed to do. At all times on work experience, including travel time, you will be expected to: act sensibly and safely take responsibility for your own actions conform to health and safety rules respect the equality and different views of others. Make sure that you have understood what these rules are. Every employer will expect you to act responsibly follow health and safety rules and instructions be tidy in your work not do anything to endanger yourself or others, e.g. through misuse of equipment or messing around use only equipment you have been trained to use. Every workplace must have a first aid box an accident book an evacuation procedure a person responsible for health and safety a person responsible for first aid a safe working environment protective clothing and equipment where necessary. I know I have to be responsible for my own safety and the safety of others, and I will act responsibly at all times. If I am unsure about any health and safety rule I will ask my supervisor. Signed: Date: Everyone has responsibility for health and safety. Every employer is different. Make sure you know the health and safety rules at your placement. italic font = lucida sans italic M01_WACT_SB_01_3366_U01.indd /4/08 11:53:52

5 Preparing to go Attitudes and behaviours in the workplace How do I deal with What is a good attitude? a problem at the workplace? If you are finding the work you are doing difficult, or you don t understand what is expected of you, talk to your workplace supervisor. Think carefully about what you want to say, and try to explain your feelings clearly. Your employer has offered to have you there and will want to help you succeed, so don t be afraid to ask. If you feel the work you are being asked to do is not what was agreed in your job description, you need to ask why; talk to your workplace supervisor, or contact your school/college teacher/tutor who can arrange to visit you. Ask for advice if you are unsure of what you have been asked to do. If you deal with problems in a calm and mature way, you will be able to solve them. a problem with communication? Often, you may find that people who are used to doing a certain job use jargon whilst speaking to each other at work. These are specialist words associated with that job that other people may not understand. They will not do this on purpose to try to confuse you, though it might feel that way, so ask for any terms you don t understand to be explained. Make a note of them, so that you will remember them in future. Most people prefer to be around people with a positive attitude. Therefore, showing a positive attitude in the workplace by being enthusiastic and willing can help you get more out of your work experience and can benefit you in all areas of life. How can I show a positive attitude at the work placement? Focus on the positive parts of your work experience, e.g. nice workplace, opportunity to learn, etc. Listen carefully to what you are being told and ask if you don t understand something. Be friendly and smile. Smiling is contagious and can actually make you happier. Most jobs have some parts that aren t as interesting as others, so even if the placement is not what you expected and you re bored, try not to show it. Some organisations are relaxed whilst others are quite formal, so watch how other people behave as a guide. Ask someone to speak slowly if you don t understand because of a different accent. If you feel you cannot talk to your workplace supervisor about a problem, contact your school or college teacher/tutor who will help you deal with this appropriately. Always ask for instructions to be repeated or explained rather than trying to guess. This will help to ensure you are working safely. a problem with my colleagues? Work experience is an opportunity to work with lots of different people from different backgrounds, ages and possibly ethnic backgrounds. You may not like everyone, and they may not like you, but you will all be expected to be able to work together. It doesn t matter where you go on work experience as you will be learning the general skills that you will need when you look for a job in the future! 16 WorkSkills Activator Level 1 Attitudes and behaviours in the workplace 17 M01_WACT_SB_01_3366_U01.indd /4/08 11:53:54

6 Attitude words activity sheet P4 Personal goals and targets L03 P5 This worksheet will help you to become familiar with words that relate to attitudes at work. attendance confidence dependability relationships attitude cooperative habits self-esteem Your teacher/tutor will help you set the learning goals and targets so that you can identify what you are aiming to get out of your time on work experience, and review what you have learned when you return from your placement. Think about your personal targets for work experience Find the missing words Write the missing words on the lines below. The words all come from the list at the top of this page. 1. means how well you like yourself means how sure you are of yourself. 3. means your feelings about things like work, yourself, others. 4. means being reliable. 5. means things you do all the time. 6. means to be present. 7. means able to work well with others. 8. means people getting along with one another. Find the missing letters The words below are missing their vowels. The words all come from the list at the top of this page. Write the complete words, with all their vowels, on the blank lines. 1. slf stm 2. cnfdnc 3. tttd 4. dpndblty 5. hbts 6. ttndnc 7. cprtv 8. rltnshps Ten personal targets To get you started on your target setting, add two more personal targets to the list below, then place all ten in order of importance to you. Personal targets Order of importance Attend every day Be on time every day Work safely Work accurately Explain why it is important for you to follow the attitudes you have listed in the table WorkSkills Activator Level 1 Attitude words activity sheet WorkSkills Activator Level 1 Personal goals and targets 19 M01_WACT_SB_01_3366_U01.indd /4/08 11:53:56

7 Goals and planning words activity sheet L03 Reminder checklist This worksheet will help you to become familiar with words that relate to setting goals. career family social life travel education things good deed Puzzler Each clue below tells about one of the words in the list above. Match the right word with each clue. Write the word on the blank line in the clue sentence. Use the clues to do the crossword puzzle. The first one is done for you. Down 1. Your includes your parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins. 3. A is doing something nice for another person. 6. When you plan for your working future, you are planning your. 7. A car, a mobile phone and a sweater are all examples of. Across family 2. To get from one place to another, you need to. 4. You have an active when you go to a lot of movies, concerts and parties. 5. Training or schooling provides you with an f a m i l y It would be useful for you to make a checklist to tick off on the day before you start your placement. Can you think of anything else that you should add to the list below? Have you: prepared your clothes for the morning? set your alarm clock to get up earlier? prepared your lunch? got change for your bus fare? Good luck! Please be enthusiastic when you meet your supervisor and work safely! WorkSkills Activator Level 1 Goals and planning words activity sheet WorkSkills Activator Level 1 Reminder checklist 21 M01_WACT_SB_01_3366_U01.indd /4/08 11:53:57

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