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Summer Work Experience FAQs

Got a question about providing work experience through Arts Emergency? We’re here to help!

How do you organise work experience placements in the summer?

Throughout the process, we provide support and have regular check-in points with our placement providers and applicants.

  1. In early spring, we recruit for freelancers and organisations. You will need to fill out our submissions form which asks for information about the placement. It is not an expression of interest form as we ask for relevant paperwork and confirmed dates.

  2. By the end of spring, we will complete reviewing everyone’s documents and will confirm the list of our summer work experience providers.

  3. We open up applications for our Young Talent at the beginning of summer. We ask them to write a personal statement on why they would be suitable for a placement.

  4. Our Community team will select candidates for each placement.

  5. By June, we confirm with placement providers and successful candidates their availability for an informal interview.

  6. Once the date and timing of the interview is confirmed, we will introduce you over email.

  7. The informal interview is facilitated by a staff member and it lasts no longer than 30 minutes. It is an opportunity to get to know one another and ask questions so that the placement is as tailored as possible.

  8. The placement takes place.

  9. At the end of each placement, our Community team will contact you for feedback.

What would the dreamiest work experience programme look like?

  • We want a wide range of placements!

    • We love to hear from all types of creative and cultural freelancers and organisations. We are especially looking for placements in fashion, TV/ film, music, theatre and games.

  • We want each placement to be an eye-opening taster for your industry.

    • Great work experience tasks are varied, informative, challenging and fun. Giving your young person a range of written, creative and administrative tasks that can be completed within 5 days will make the experience more stimulating. It’s also a good idea to have tasks that are both online and offline.

  • We want to cater to a wider range of our Young Talent’s backgrounds.
    • We would love to offer work experience for our young people that’s paid and longer than 5 days.

    • We would love to get more on-site work experience placements in Manchester and Merseyside.

    • We would love to get more online work experience placements for our Young Community members who don’t live in our programme areas of London, Brighton, Manchester, or Merseyside.

What happens at the end of the placement?

We ask that you schedule a final check-in session towards the end of your placement with the young person.

After the placement, Arts Emergency will email you a placement report for you to complete. It includes a section where you can provide a character reference.

Why do you offer work experience for a minimum of 5 days only?

We’d love to offer longer work experience placements, but we believe that it is unfair to expect a young person to work for free for any longer than 5 days. We do understand that it is challenging for our budgets, especially with the rising cost of living. But this extends to young people too. Not all of our young people are in education and/or live at home or have financial stability.

Do we have to pay for expenses?

Yes. Placement providers who host 5 day on-site or hybrid work experience placements must also provide lunch and travel expenses. The minimum all organisations should provide is a total of £75 in expenses for a 5 day placement (this is based on £15 per day).

If there’s any work placements (including online) which last longer than 5 days, they must be paid at the real Living Wage rate. While the UK government's statutory National Living wage covers people over 23, Arts Emergency believes that organisations should pay the real Living Wage regardless of age.

With paid placements, providing expenses on top of the Living Wage is optional.

For help calculating the cost of a placement please use our work placement calculator below.

Do you expect us to pay Living Wage for young people aged under 18?

Yes. This is particularly important for the young people we work with as we prioritise those who need Arts Emergency support the most. You can find out more information about our eligibility criteria here.

What do you expect from all work experience providers?

  • to sign and adhere to our code of conduct

  • provide a 5 day placement as a minimum. We ask that anything longer is paid at the Living Wage for your area.

  • fill out our relevant risk assessment templates

  • you must read our safety guidance

  • have an informal interview with the young person

What are the additional expectations from hybrid and on-site work experience providers?

  • Providers must be located in either London, Brighton, Manchester or Merseyside.

  • Providers must provide expenses for up to £15 a day to cover lunch and travel.

  • Providers must send us your Employer’s Liability Insurance certificate (you will need to find this before you fill in the form)

I'm a mentor and want to arrange work experience for my mentee. What do I do?

We won’t need to arrange an informal interview because you already know them! But we do expect you to fill out our form to:

  • Tell us the dates you’re looking to host

  • Confirm whether it’s online, on-site, or hybrid. Hybrid does not mean that your team is fully remote but you expect the young person to be on-site.

  • Upload the relevant risk assessment

  • Upload a valid Employers Liability Insurance certificate (it cannot be expired)

  • Confirm that you will adhere to our code of conduct.

  • Provide feedback and an official reference for your mentee.

If you are a freelancer, you can only provide an online placement. It is essential that you tell us about the placement 1 month before it begins.

Need to contact us?

Please get in touch with the Community team at