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Work experience opportunities

Information about work experience opportunities at our London and Manchester offices, what we offer and how to apply.

Each year we offer a number of short, unpaid work opportunities to school leavers, undergraduates and postgraduates looking for a work experience placement. We offer placements at our Millbank Tower office in central London and our New York Street office in central Manchester.

How it works

We offer work experience placements throughout the year, depending on availability. Placements are normally for one or two weeks and no more than four weeks.

Currently we only offer placements to students taking post-16 courses (such as sixth form college students), undergraduates and postgraduate students.

What should you expect from a placement

Every work experience placement is different but they are all designed to give you the opportunity to make the most of your time with us. When you arrive, your line manager or supervisor for the period of your placement will want to find out more about you and what you want to get out of your time with us. They will try and get you involved in the things that interest you most.

  • We structure and plan placements, engaging the student in a range of meaningful tasks.
  • Directorates or teams will provide a suitable activity programme for the length of your placement.
  • At the start of your placement, we will give you a learning log and encourage you to record your daily activities.
  • We will pay you reasonable expenses for travel to and from the office where you are placed. We do this is in line with our Travel and Subsistence Code.

Remember that work experience is unpaid but it's a learning experience and not a job.

How to apply

Please send us your CV and a supporting statement explaining why you want to apply for work experience. Please let us know your area of interest and preferred location.

Send your application to HRSharedServices@ombudsman.org.uk two months before the date you want to start.

If it look as if we can offer a placement, we will contact you to agree the likely start date and length of the work experience placement.

We will send successful applicants an offer letter for the placement along with a starter form to complete and return.

Students taking post-16 courses

If you are a student taking a post-16 course, you must get written permission from your school or local education authority. We need evidence of this before we can accept work placement requests. The school or college may want to arrange for a member of staff to visit us to discuss the work placement, and they may want to conduct their own risk assessment.

If you are under the age of 18, we will also need your parents' approval in writing.

Criminal record checks

If you are aged 18 or over, you will need to have a criminal record check before you begin your placement. We will arrange for these checks once the application is successful and before the placement starts. It generally takes about four weeks to complete the check.

If you are under 18, you don't need a criminal record check. However, we ask for a reference letter from your school or college before the start of the placement. This is attached to the work experience placement form.