Education Funding Agency
The requirements for funding work experience are incorporated in the 16 to 19 funding regulations for 2017 to 2018 academic year.
This note provides further information on work experience and how it is funded.
Recording work experience and work placements for 2017 to 2018 in the Individualised Learner Record (ILR)
For ILR users only: providers should complete the Learning Delivery Work Placement Entity as in previous years. For 2017 to 2018 a new field has been added to this entity to record the planned hours for each work placement. This must contain a value in the range 1 to 9999. This replaces the requirement to record work placements by using one of the 5 work experience aims (Z0007834, Z0007835, Z0007836, Z0007837, Z0007838). Please also ensure that the mode is completed correctly to indicate whether the activity was internal or external (external being with an employer on a site external to the learning environment).
This applies to all types of study programme, apart from where work experience is an essential element of the study programme.
Institutions should ensure their data is accurate before the final return.
(NB: The above addition is the main change in this factsheet and it is to reflect the existing ILR recording arrangements that were set out in the ILR user manual at the beginning of the 2017/18 academic year.)
School Census users: recording of work experience remains the same as 2016 to 2017.
For work placements being funded though the Capacity Delivery Fund (CDF) from 2018 to 2019 academic year, we will be issuing new guidance for ILR and school census users on the CDF factsheet before the summer.
Purpose of work experience
Work experience is designed to bridge the gap between education and the world of work. It can help inform career choices, provide the opportunity for young people to prove themselves to an employer, and help instil the attitudes and behaviours expected at work.
Work experience can take many forms including work tasters; running a student enterprise; participation in social action, volunteering or a work placement.
Work placements will usually take place with an external employer and they are an integral part of traineeships, supported internships and some study programmes, where work experience is the core aim. Work placements can also form an essential element of some vocational qualifications.
All 16 to 19 year old students are funded for an individual study programme. Most study programmes have a core aim which is either a substantial qualification (academic or vocational) or work experience.
The study programme must be tailored to the prior attainment of each individual student, have clear study and/or employment goals reflecting the students prior attainment and should include
- substantial qualifications or work experience
- maths and English for students who have not achieved grade A* to C, GCSE, new GCSE 9 to 4 or equivalent qualification in these subjects by age 16
- planned employability, enrichment and pastoral hours (EEP hours), including work experience
Further details of what is expected from quality work experience can be found on GOV.UK.
How work experience is funded within study programmes
This information outlines how work experience fits within study programmes and how it is funded.
Work experience is funded as part of the total planned hours for each students study programme that attracts the standard 16 to 19 national funding base rate.
Qualifying for funding
To qualify for funding work experience must:
- be directly relevant to the students study programme
- be planned, explicit in the students timetable or learning plan
- be within the normal pattern of attendance at the institution
- be supervised and/or organised by a member of staff
Work experience is funded and recorded differently on the type of study programme for example this can be:
- the core aim of a study programme, including traineeships where work experience is the core aim
- where it is within a vocational qualification that has learning in the workplace as an essential element
- where the work experience is an enrichment activity (forms part of EEP hours)
Funding and recording work experience as the core aim of a study programme
Where a student has work experience as the core aim of their study programme it must be with an external employer and on a site that is external to the learning environment.
This applies even where the institution has extensive facilities mirroring the workplace. Activity in a simulated work environment may well form a helpful part of work preparation training but will not count as external work placements for the purpose of study programmes.
This should be recorded as non-qualification hours (EEP hours) in the individualised learner record (ILR) and school census. ILR users, please refer to the new guidance above for recording work experience and complete all the appropriate fields in the Learning Delivery Work Placement Entity.
Funding and recording work experience where it is within a vocational qualification that has work experience as an essential element
Some vocational qualifications have work experience as an essential element. Here the purpose of the work experience element is to provide the student with the opportunity to practice skills in a supervised environment. This applied learning and practical training could take place in an institutions workshop such as, or a college hairdressing salon, or on a college farm. It could also take place on employers premises.
This activity should be recorded within qualification planned hours on the ILR/census and not duplicated as EEP hours. The qualification and not the work experience is the core aim of the study programme. The hours for the whole qualification including the work experience element are recorded in the planned qualification hours field. There is no requirement to record data against the Learning Delivery Work Placement Entity separately in the ILR or against one of the 5 work experience aims in the school census.
Funding and recording work experience as an enrichment activity
Work experience as an enrichment activity can add value to the study programme by preparing students for work. It enables them to explore the careers linked to the academic or vocational subjects they are studying and helps with their choice of further or higher education.
Where work experience that is neither the core aim of the study programme or required as part of the qualification but is undertaken as an enrichment activity, should be recorded as planned non-qualification EEP hours. In these circumstances, please complete the Learning Delivery Work Placement Entity in the ILR or one of the 5 work experience aims school census and ensure you select the appropriate mode to indicate whether it is external or internal.
Traineeships and work experience
The purpose of traineeships is to prepare young people for employment so that they are able to progress successfully to an apprenticeships and other paid employment with training.
Therefore it is important that work experience in traineeships gives the young person experience of a real workplace so they can develop the skills, knowledge, confidence, attitudes and behaviours they need to succeed at work. This should be undertaken with an external employer, external to the learning environment and at an external site. However, exceptions to this will be funded. See under work experience within local authorities below.
Institutions will need to make a judgment about whether their work placements genuinely provide students with the experiences they need to develop the work-related attributes expected of a traineeship. Ultimately Ofsted make judgments about the suitability of these arrangements through inspection and grading of institutions.
Activity in a simulated work environment may well form a helpful part of work preparation training but will not count as work placements for the purpose of traineeships or other study programmes.
Work experience delivered as part of a traineeship programme must be recorded as the core aim of the study programme. If a student does multiple work experience placements, these should not be recorded as separate