Work Experience

The Work Experience scheme involves 2-8 week work placements of 25-30 hours per week. It is aimed at 18-24 year olds 'with little or no work history'.

No direct sanctions

Entry onto the scheme is voluntary and individuals can choose to leave the placement before it is complete.

Source: Commons Library Research Briefing, June 2015

Many people are given the impression that they must do the Work Experience scheme or face sanctions. This is not the case: you do not have to agree to do it and you can leave without facing direct sanctions.

Beware that if you don’t have recent work experience, and do not consider volunteering, the Work Experience scheme or any other way of gaining work experience, you may be referred to another scheme or measures such as daily signing.

Gross misconduct

The threat of sanctions remains for those dismissed by the employers due to “gross misconduct”. The DWP say:

 ‘Gross Misconduct’ might include, for example, theft, racial abuse and violence.

Source: FOI March 2012.  (For a fuller list, see paragraph 26 of this provider guidance.)

Avoid being threatened with another workfare scheme if you drop out –do not start this scheme

Up until recently, if you started either a Work Experience or a Sector-Based Work Academy placement and then dropping out, this  gave the job centre the right to send you on Mandatory Work Activity.  MWA stopped in April 2016, and we don’t yet know if the job centre will use another scheme as a backup in a similar way.

But due to possible sanctions – and subsequent workfare referrals if you decide to stop the placements or academies – it is best to use your rights to not start a work experience placement or Sector-Based Work Academy. If you want to do work experience, do it outside the control of the job centre.