Year 10 Work Experience

Hello all,
So my school is doing a year 10 and 12 work experience thing in July (I’m a year 10). Since I am interested in going into Air Traffic Control when I am older, I was wondering where I could go to gain just some general experience. I know RAF Wittering does work experience, plus it is the closest RAF station to me that I know does WE. What I mainly wanted to ask those that have done WE in Wittering is what kind of WE do they offer? What do they do?
Thanks :relaxed:

Go to the careers office they will help you with your query

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Wittering ATC is contracted out and contractors aren’t usually able to offer work experience - safeguarding has made it quite hard for them (or the RAF) to comply. Agree, talk to careers office as they will have the contacts to make it work.

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There is no reason to limit yourself to just RAF stations if you are looking at something as universal as ATC

I am not sure where you are but within 20nm of Wittering you have Leicester Airport and a little further out is Northampton (Sywell) and Bedford, Nottingham (28nm) and Cambridge (30nm) are that bit further out while there is also Fenland closer in, although is a smaller (grass) airfield.

These are the “licenced” aerodromes/airfields/airports close to Wittering, but you could choose others nearby (see

I am not saying you will, but the right Work Experience placement could lead to a summer or part-time job (several of my friends, and my girlfriend’s first job was as a result of work experience). If Air Traffic Control is your interest you’re more likely to get those opportunities at a civilian airfield than at a military establishment.

If you do decide that the RAF is the only route to go, best of luck I hope they offer you what you are looking for.

Whichever you decide I wish you well

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Wherever you go they will need to have at least 2 DBS cleared, be insured and cleared the H&S angles, which the school will have to do. Also nowadays what you can do is severely limited to watching, because of insurance. I’ve known cadets do work experience in shops of all sorts and being limited to a bit display titivation and stock counting because they weren’t old enough to handle money or sell things.
We used to have work experience kids in and it stopped 18 years ago for the reasons I mention.
If it’s not within easy travelling distance, it’s unlikely you be able to lodge with people unless they are relations or pass the above and I’m not sure that as a 15 yo you can stay in a hotel on your own.
When we had W/E kids we’d find out who they lived near and they would give them a lift as it’s a PITA to get to where we are by public transport, which were told we couldn’t do anymore.
Not saying don’t give it a go, but be prepared for it not happening.

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You know, I forgot about being able to go into airports. It completely flew over my head. The closest airport to me is the Robin Hood airport in Doncaster. Maybe I should give a call but I doubt I would be accepted. It’s worth a try though. Maybe I should find a more private airfield so I’m not messing with things too much… :man_shrugging: But thank you for reminding me :relaxed:

Yeah, now that I think about it, it’s a lot of work for both sides to have a child to look after… but even watching is enough as long as I’m getting a feel for the whole thing. I saw another reply and it reminded me that I can go into an airport instead. Doncaster is way closer that Wittering. It would be difficult travelling to Wittering every day for a week as it is an hour away. Plus, I have no relations in that area. Thank you for the reply anyway :slightly_smiling_face:

you never know there maybe a CFAV who works there.

I know of a CFAV who works at Edinburgh Airport and would be approaching them first to see if they know of a way through the door.

Ask your Staff if they know anyone local within the Wing who has contacts…

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Good idea - I know for example of a regional aviation officer who is an air traffic controller.

Leicester wouldn’t be much good - it’s just a radio set operated by the person manning the front desk (perfectly competently but not really relevant to an ATC career). Doncaster though is worth a try. Or Sywell - they do at least have a dedicated person manning the tower. Cambridge even better - full ATC - and there’s an ATC sqn on the airfield who would probably know who to talk to as I bet they have regular visits.

Have you spoken to your own wing/regional aviation officer? (via your OC Sqn)

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Sywell is within travelling distance for me but its 1 hour 30 mins (plus considering traffic which would make travel time longer and unpredictable), but its doable. Cambridge is out of the question. I have no family in that area. It would be nice going to that ATC sqn though. I haven’t spoken to my wing/regional aviation officer. i Don’t know who it is :flushed:. I have yet to talk to my OC about it.

As other have mentioned, work experience is difficult now because of DBS etc. I live very close to Doncaster and I’m not aware of any part of it that would be accessible for work experience. How close to Doncaster are you? Which Wing/Region? I do have a couple of ideas for you, but they might be dependent on distance!

Not sure that you’d be insured or the DBS would be valid.
we used to have kids come in and do all sorts of things that were a bit of a no no at the time, but with all the H&S etc would be verboten big time.
It’s a shame that it’s gone like this.

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I’m about 30 minutes from Doncaster. Trent Wing

as an escorted visitor i would hope there is an element of common sense applied

if this were true how do a nation’s worth of year 10s annual complete Work experience?

providing there is a chaperone/not left unsupervised with just one person how on earth does this work?

there are 16 years old in work, we all know this as we have Cadets who have part time jobs, they are under 16 - do their employers require DBS???

Work experience is different, because its time limited and its not just the DBS that’s the issue, its also the paperwork involved with risk assessments that employers now have to do. My father used to regularly take work experience students but had to stop because the amount of paperwork generated for that 2 weeks of work made it difficult to facilitate. Many year 10’s dont get work experience, because the funding that goes into schools isnt sufficient to cover everyone. So sometimes its used to give experience to those who wouldnt be expected to go on to higher education. Also, the onus is often put on students to find their own work, rather than it coming from school.

Ok, suggestions for you - how close is Gamston to you? Or Kirton Lindsey? They both have airfields and there’s a couple of other much smaller ones. You might be able to get a visit to the ATC there, but also would probably need a responsible adult with you to get around the under 16 issue. If you want more hands on aviation experience, South Yorkshire Aviation Museum in Doncaster is always willing to take on volunteers, but this is more to do with restoration work and as an under 16 you would definitely need a responsible adult with you.

Talking to your OC and asking if the Wing Aviation Officer would be able to give you any pointers for places to try is certainly another way forward. I’m in South & West, so up the road, but I’m afraid I cant help with the contact details, your OC will. Let me know if there’s anything I can help with and I can certainly ask my contacts around here.

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personally i cannot see how DBS becomes an issue, providing now one has unsupervised sole access to a WE student then there shouldn’t be a problem.

i appreciate the other elements you identify though.
Back in my day (sounding old) i recall it was the students who searched for WE, else you got a stock option from the school default which was never anything more exciting than a gofor for the secretary

Year 10s will be 14 or 15.
I’m not sure any school worth their salt would allow any of the kids to do it, unless they had the boxes ticked. If something went wrong they and the placement would be in doo doo. I know people who volunteer in two of the local secondary’s and if someone comes into the school who isn’t DBSd, gets a bright yellow or lime green lanyard and cannot go anywhere without an escort.

I am closest to Gamston which is 20 minutes away. Kirton Lindsey is an hour. Does the Gamston airfield have any contact details? Thank you for the suggestions :blush: