There are three main reasons for undertaking work experience:
To get a feel for a profession and the wider world of work.
It is really hard to figure out which job role, company or even sector to work in, especially when you are young and fairly inexperienced. Doing a work experience placement or shadowing can help young people, by showing them how a company runs, what different sectors are really like and what different job roles entail. Even if they only learn more about what they don’t want to do, it is still useful!
To help gain experience prior to applying for apprenticeships, university or graduate jobs.
Having some experience of the workplace is often crucial to getting a job. It can be frustrating because to get experience, you need a job but it seems almost impossible to get a job without experience! This is where work experience, internships and volunteering come in. These roles rarely require previous experience but they will impart the skills young people need to get into full time work. The skills learnt in any job or work-experience scheme will be transferrable and will help your child in their applications to universities or to jobs in entirely different sectors.
To earn some extra money.
This is why most young people get a part-time or holiday job. However they should be aware, as I said above, that even these jobs will provide them with transferable skills. Also, it should be noted that part-time and holiday jobs are not the only experience that pays. Some work experience placements pay expenses and many internships are now paid.