Work Experience

Work experience is a win/win situation – you gain extra skills and the organisation gains a passionate committed member of staff on their workforce. What better way to see if that job is right for you than by giving it a go? Work experience is a great opportunity if you are in school or have left school.

Learning about work through work is the best way to gain experience and have a greater understanding of being employed. When you take a placement, it is not about a final career choice but more about opening your eyes to the options available. It is an opportunity to try something new and different and see if you find something out about yourself in the process. Work experience is a great way to impress future employers and will help you stand out for college, university or apprenticeship applications.


Natalie Harrow cropNatalie a former pupil of Bridgwater College,  studied a National Diploma in Agriculture said; “As part of my course I did 240 hours of work experience, it was a big help to me. I got to try different jobs and see what I wanted to do in the future and I was kept on after my placement. I always say you have to start at the bottom and work your way up the ladder to get noticed.”

The aim

To provide an experience in the workplace rather than one fixed role, you should have the opportunity to see many areas of the work placement.

  • Gain real life experience
  • Obtain a work reference
  • Learn about your skills and abilities
  • Build confidence
  • Add to your CV/UCAS Statement
  • Network with people in the industry

Most importantly see if that career path is right for you!

In school/college

Who can you talk to?

  • Approach your teacher, work experience coordinator or careers advisor for advice on how to take the first steps
  • They may have a list of suitable approved placements or a database of employers and placement opportunities

Finding a placement

  • Do you know where you would like to work?
  • If so, write a letter to the company (ask if they have any placements) along with your CV.
  • If not, do some research and try to get a placement that you think would be suitable.
  • Or go to our job vacancies page

What is next?

If you find a placement give your work experience coordinator, careers advisor or teacher their contact details.

Not in school

  • If you know a company that you would like to work for, take the initiative. Send them a covering letter along with your CV and ask for an opportunity to work within their business.
  • Or go to our job vacancies page

Don’t miss our  Top Tip

If you need help with employability skills, CV building then there is help available from many organisations

Or seek out useful links and documents on the right-hand side of this page with CV building / top tips on interview techniques and see what work experience placements we have got on our job vacancies page.

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Agriculture: Is the science and business of cultivating soil, producing crops, and raising livestock.

Agribusiness: is a generic term applied to businesses involved in some or all of the following agricultural production systems: crop production, including farming and contract farming, seed supply, agrichemicals, farm machinery, wholesale and distribution,processing, marketing, and retail sales.

Agronomist: is a person who engages in the scientific study of plants and plant materials as fuel, feed and food. Do you love studying plants and want to know more about the impact it has on agriculture? If so, you may want to consider agronomy as a career choice.

Apprenticeship:   is a real job with training so you can earn while you learn and pick up some recognised qualifications as you go…

Artificial Insemination: is the introduction of male reproductive cells into the female reproductive tract by artificial means,commonly abbreviated AI.

CV: a curriculum vitae (CV)  is a written document that provides an overview of a person’s experience and other qualifications. It is typically the first item that a potential employer encounters.

Farm assurance: are voluntary schemes which establish production standards covering food safety, environmental protection, animal welfare issues and other characteristics deemed to be important by consumers.   

Further Education: Education above school age but below university level.

Herds-person : refers to someone who works with the daily maintenance, health and breeding of dairy and beef cattle.

Higher Education: education at universities or similar educational establishments, especially to degree level.

Horticulture :  is the science, technology, and business involved in intensive plant cultivation for human use.

Husbandry:  is the science of breeding and caring for farm animals.

Land-based: is the term used for a vocational agricultural based courses.

Quota-milk: Every country in the EU has a limit to the amount of milk that is allowed to be produced- this is its quota. The total quota is divided up between all the dairy farmers in the country- individual quota is the number of litres of milk they are allowed to produce each year- there are penalties for producing too much.

Ruminant: An animal that ‘ chews the cud’, they digest more of a plant than single stomached animals by having a rumen ( the first of 4 stomach chambers) where the plant material they have eaten are fermented by micro organisms to produce proteins and sugars the animal can digest.

Silage: Grass or other crops that have been cut, allowed to wilt but not completely dry out and are preserved in plastic wrapping or in a large clamp or pit. Silage is fed to livestock in the winter when fresh grass is not available

Traineeship:  is an unwaged education and training programme with work experience that is focused on giving young people the skills and experience that employers are looking for.

Vocational Education: is education that prepares people for specific trades, crafts and careers at various levels from a trade, a craft, technician, or a professional position.

Zero grazing: Fields of grass are grown but the animals are not allowed to graze them. Instead grass is cut regularly and taken to the animals.