This summary presents the findings, conclusions and recommendations from an independent evaluation by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) of the Department for Education work experience placement trials. The trials aimed to test different work experience placement models for 16 to 19 year olds. These models were as follows:
- removing cost barriers for employers (for example, by providing materials or financial incentives)
- investigating specific challenges faced by small to medium-sized employers when offering work placements
- providing extra resources to colleges (for example, to employ staff to organise work placements and liaise with employers)
- exploring the timing of placements for students (for example, investigating whether a block of time or individual days throughout a course is most effective and why)
- supporting students with learning difficulties and disabilities or vulnerable/disadvantaged students (for example, considering support employers need to employ young people with specific needs)
Twenty-five colleges tested one or more of the models and each of the colleges was allocated a sum of £80,000 in 2011 to 2012 and £97,000 in 2012 to 2013 for this purpose. The colleges were located in specified areas with high levels of young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) and high proportions of students at level 2 or below.