Work Experience

Could you transform a young person’s career?

Priestley College’s mission is to inspire, challenge and support our students so they can go on to have bright futures. We hope this is something you can help us achieve by offering work placements. We already work closely with companies such as PwC, the RAF and Sellafield. Now we are looking to develop more industry partnerships for the benefit of our students, the businesses themselves and Warrington as a whole.


Reasons to offer work experience

One of the main ways you can help Priestley students is by offering work experience. These placements must offer real value and help the young person develop the knowledge and key skills that will help them thrive in the workplace.

However, this is not just an opportunity for our students. Your business can benefit in many ways too. Here are just some of them:

  • An opportunity to identify talent, assess their competencies on the job, whilst making cost and time savings in the recruitment process.
  • Address skills shortages and the challenges of an aging workforce by promoting your organisation and your sector
  • accessing a pool of hidden talent – people who offer enthusiasm and a fresh perspective to your business
  • Developing the supervisory and management skills of your current workforce.
  • Highlight the opportunities that are not “obvious” within your organisation e.g. the NHS needs to recruit IT, logistics, finance, project management expertise not just nurses and doctors.
  • Connect with other employers and potential clients through our developing employer networks and events.
  • Enhancing your public profile by supporting your local community
Reasons to work with Priestley
  • Rated by OFSTED as an Outstanding provider
  • First college in the country to be awarded STEM assured status – the national gold standard for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths education
  • Inclusive college
  • Mixed offering of vocational and academic provision
  • Part of the The Challenge Academy Trust meaning links to secondary schools for level 1-3 roles
  • College tutors with strong industry links
  • Chosen as one on only 50 UK colleges to pilot the new T-Level qualifications in 2020
Student benefits
  • Enriches a CV
  • Enhances a UCAS application & personal statement for higher education
  • Builds confidence
  • Increases communication skills
  • Gives a greater understanding of the world of work in their desired area
  • Helps build links for future employment opportunities
  • Provides a referee from a reputable company
  • Opens a student’s eyes to new areas of employment they may not have previously considered.

We ask students to treat their work placement as a responsible adult would treat paid employment in the world of work. This way the student can really get the best out of their placement; asking questions, using initiative, learning on the job and taking responsibility for their actions.

Other ways you can make a difference


Talks / Presentations

We regularly welcome organisations in to the College to speak to our students.  We can target specific groups by level of study or course area.  Our employability team can advise you on the best times to reach students throughout the academic year.


Work Experience

The College is keen to develop and inform our students on the choices that are available to them beyond Priestley College.  To shape the choices that they make we are keen to offer varied work experience opportunities.  We can discuss your specific requirements relating to matching our student levels and skills to your needs and to address project length, scheduling (e.g. day release, holiday periods etc)


Tours/ Taster Days

Allowing student groups to tour your facilities and meet key staff members is a great way of exposing students to the work of your organisation.  It can identify career paths that they may not previously have associated with your company.  Meeting staff in the work environment and seeing a real snapshot of activity is a powerful and memorable way to connect with students.  It’s an efficient use of time allowing a larger number or students to experience your work setting and can be useful prior to recruitment drives particularly for apprenticeships.


Workshops (e.g. mock interviews, professional skills, work readiness, )

Offering our students the most real-world experience to help demystify and build confidence as they make their next steps is hugely important.  If your organisation could support workshops that we deliver that help students prepare for things like

*CVs and Covering Letters            *Interviews         *Professional Behaviours/what to expect in the workplace

Throughout the year Priestley College will run tailored programmes of workshops e.g Level 2 progression, World of Work week, National Apprenticeship Week)


Promotion of vacancies – e.g. apprenticeships

It is possible to reach the 2,000 Priestley students to promote a wide range of opportunities.  From ad-hoc, part time and casual opportunities that will fund students through their time at Priestley and add valuable work experience on to their CV through to apprenticeships, volunteering and Gap year opportunities.


Annual careers fair

Priestley hosts an annual careers fair attended by HE providers, employers offering apprenticeship and work experience opportunities.  As part of TCAT not only would you be able to engage with our 2,000 16-19year old students but the event is attended by feeder secondary schools from the Academy opening up the range of potential opportunities your company can promote.



T-Levels are being introduced from 2020 as a more vocationally focused choice of programme to students who have completed their GCSEs.  Priestley College is one of only 50 colleges nationally who are part of the initial roll-out.  These two year programmes will initially be offered in the areas of Software Engineering and Childcare & Education.  More course choices are expected to be added in the coming academic years.

Delivery of the T-Levels requires a positive partnership between student, college and employer.  We are keen to engage with employers from the outset to

*work collaboratively to shape the curriculum to meet skills gaps you identify

*engage in shaping assessments to tackle real-world briefs or issues

* host extended work placements (minimum 45 days)

Can you make a difference?

We hope you will agree that Priestley College is making great strides in improving the prospects four our students. Hopefully you feel inspired to help. If you do, please contact our Industrial Placement Coordinator Pam Gardner to offer your help or find out more information.

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