Study Programmes

What are study programmes?

Since September 2013 when the raising of participation age for young people was increased to 17, Study Programmes have been available for all young people aged 16-19. Study programmes make it possible to improve the employability of young
people and help them move into employment or higher education.

Each Study Programme will be based on a student’s abilities and career aspirations and is likely to include a substantial qualification (academic or vocational) and work-related activities including work experience. Work experience can take many forms including work tasters; running a student enterprise; participation in social action, volunteering or a work placement.
Typically, a student has to complete a minimum of 20 hours of work experience for the duration of their Study Programme.

Principles of a high-quality work placement

The requirement for providers to arrange work placements with an external employer enables students to experience the real demands of the working environment, independent from their peers and their tutors, and put into practice the transferable
and sector-specific skills they have learned. Students can often obtain employer references for their performance that provides evidence for their CV, or the offer of a job on completion of their course.

Common principles of a high-quality work placement are that it:

  • is purposeful, offers challenge and is relevant to the young person’s study programme and career aspirations
  • allows the student to apply the technical and practical skills learned in the classroom / workshop
  • is managed under the direction of a supervisor to ensure the young person obtains a genuine learning experience suited to their needs
  • has a structured plan for the duration of the placement which provides tangible outcomes for the student and employer
  • has clear roles, responsibilities and expectations for the student and employer
  • is followed by some form of reference or feedback from the employer based on the young person’s performance

Integrating work placements into study programmes

There is no single ‘correct’ way of planning work experience and work placements – this will depend on the employers’ capacity and could vary considerably by sector. Employers are more likely to respond favourably to providers that are willing to be flexible and work with them to organise work placements to suit their requirements.

For example, work placements could follow a pattern of once a week for the duration of the term, longer block placements, or a rotation of shorter placements at different employers, so that students can experience different aspects of a sector.

Find out more

Our Hertfordshire colleges and many independent learning providers are delivering Study programmes and need to work closely with employers to provide and shape placements for their students. If you are unsure of which provider or college to get in
touch with, please contact Caroline Cartwright at Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership on
[email protected]

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