We hope you find WEXO both helpful and easy to use but in our experience, there are always changes that can be made to improve websites both in terms of their look and feel AND their functionality.
Our FAQs are updated regularly and we would encourage you to read these as they might well have the answers you are looking for.
- What costs are there for using WEXO?
- Following the initial £10 Membership fee, are there any additional costs?
- What are the differences between apprenticeships, internships and work experience? What are the benefits of each?
- What percentage of your opportunities are outside the London area?
- Does WEXO offer work experience for younger people. What is the breakdown for the opportunities available?
- Can WEXO take the admin hassle out of finding work experience placements for school students?
- Why would a company want to offer work experience or internships?
- What are the legal requirements and obligations of companies offering work experience?
- Does a company need to pay students who do work experience?
- What is the National Minimum Wage (NMW)?
- What are the basic things that you can do on WEXO?
- How long does it take for companies to deal with applications?
- One of the 'status updates'that Companies can give applicants on WEXO is 'Shortlisted' - what does this mean?
- What kind of information can I search for?
- How does the application process work?
- How does the Dashboard work?
- Why WEXO?
- I am a company interested in using WEXO to manage work experience applications but don't want to get thousands of applications and cannot guarantee that we will take people unless they are exactly what we are looking for?
- How old do I have to be to use WEXO?
Q: What costs are there for using WEXO?
A: WEXO is FREE to register and search for opportunities - be they work experience, internships or jobs. A membership fee of just £10 then allows you to identify the exact roles, apply for them and qualify for membership benefits (promotions, events, advice and lots more to come). Companies can register and post opportunities for free.
Q: Following the initial £10 Membership fee are there any additional costs?
Q: What are the differences between apprenticeships, internships and work experience? What are the benefits of each?
A: Everyone seems to define these things differently. For WEXO though, an apprenticeship is a long term training commitment to acquire job-specific skills. We see work experience as shorter term (1-2 weeks) placements for younger people (16-18 years old) which are generally unpaid although we encourage companies to pay travel and lunch costs. Work experience allows people to get a taste of the working world. They might just be work shadowing and are more about companies 'giving something back', connecting with future employees and fulfilling their Corporate Social Responsibility obligations. In England and Wales, work experience is an obligatory part of the national curriculum and all state school pupils from the age of 14 are required to undertake a two week work experience placement. An internship is more likely to be a medium term (1-3 months) opportunity for more qualified graduates and undergraduates. Interns are likely to be able to add significant value to a business and so are generally paid.
Q: What percentage of your opportunities are outside the London area?
A: WEXO was started in London and currently a large proportion (90%) of the roles available are in London. However we aspire to be a national organisation (and eventually international) and as our stock rises, we are finding that more and more of the positions on the site are located further and further afield. We encourage our various stakeholders to spread the word and alert companies as to the benefits of WEXO and why they should choose to use it to manage their work experience and internship programs.
Q: Does WEXO offer work experience for younger people. What is the breakdown for the opportunities available?
A: WEXO has about 300 companies on board offering work experience, internships and jobs. There's probably a 40:40:20 split between these currently but people do have different definitions of work experience. We define it as short 1-2 week placements for younger people which are unpaid. Unless specified (companies can detail minimum academic qualifications which effectively equals minimum age), then WEXO accepts registrations from anyone over the age of 14 and the companies are aware of this.
Q: Can WEXO take the admin hassle out of finding work experience placements for school students?
A: WEXO has already helped a number of schools manage their work experience programmes and is always looking at ways to develop this. One undertaking that has worked well is for schools to recommend their students and company contacts to sign up to WEXO and then allow WEXO's application management and matching capabilities to do the rest. We welcome your feedback and suggestions.
Q: Why would a company want to offer work experience or internships?
A: Work experience forms a natural part of an individual's education and development and WEXO encourages companies to capture interest in their offerings, 'give something back', and ultimately invest in UK Plc. We believe that work experience and internships give companies and users a cost effective and non-binding solution to budget and staffing concerns allowing them to try each other out before they commit to more permanent arrangements. Taking on a student is exactly like taking on a new member of staff and we ask companies to set out proper 'job descriptions' to manage expectations and productivity from both parties with proper appraisals.
Q: What are the legal requirements and obligations of companies offering work experience?
A: Students and trainees, including children, on work experience are regarded in health and safety law as employees. Accordingly, students on work experience placements must be provided with the same health, safety and welfare protection given to other employees.
WEXO actively advises companies of their obligations with reference to the government's guide to employers on Work Experience, Health and Safety and the UK Employment Law Restrictions on what sort of work young people, (including pupils below the Minimum School Leaving Age - currently 16) while on work experience, are allowed to do. Notably, taking on work experience candidates under the MLSA should always be done in consultation with their educational establishment.
WEXO is aware of the hurdles that both companies and schools face when facilitating work experience (e.g. health and safety checks) and is currently working with 20-20 (a Learning and Development Solutions company) to develop comprehensive tools to help overcome these. Despite our advice and guidance, currently WEXO takes no responsibility for the suitability of work experience opportunities and only facilitates their promotion.
Q: Does a company need to pay students who do work experience?
A: WEXO encourages companies to pay interns at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW). As per the outlines given by The National Council for Work Experience, the basic rule that seems to apply is that because of the NMW legislation, UK employers can no longer offer unpaid work experience (or internships) to young people, unless they are doing it as ‘part of their course’. Ultimately, students need not be paid the NMW if they are under 18, if they are still studying (without working outside of their studies), if they are working for a registered charity or if they are just ‘work shadowing’. WEXO encourages companies to pay travel and lunch costs at least for unpaid opportunities. Some companies structure their opportunities as ‘volunteer’ positions to overcome NMW legislation but legally this does have implications as to what exactly they can do. WEXO acknowledges that in some industries like Television, companies rely on unpaid work experience to source and shape their new recruits who value the experience and are happy to volunteer. Ultimately WEXO is pro valuable experience but against exploitation of graduates. There is a dedicated national helpline for specific enquiries on these issues: 0845 6000 678.
Q: What is the National Minimum Wage (NMW)?
A: WEXO takes its lead from BERR (The Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) which lists the current NMW rates here
Q: What are the basic things that you can do on WEXO?
A: Companies can sign up, create profiles and post opportunities (work experience, internships and jobs). In a similar way, Individuals can sign up as Members, create profiles and find opportunities on WEXO.
Q: How long does it take for companies to deal with applications?
A: Companies receive notifications of applications instantly and we encourage them to respond as quickly as possible. WEXO automatically sends them reminders weekly if they have 'open' applications, however companies answer applications at their discretion and though some choose to do this weekly or even daily, others prefer to wait for a while to review as many applicants as possible (especially as opportunities are often open ended and they will only take someone on if it's a good time or if the person seems to be exactly the right fit). Perhaps, Michelangelo was right: "Genius is eternal patience". That said, we are constantly trying to improve WEXO and are open to suggestions on how to accelerate 'application cycles'.
Q: One of the 'status updates' that Companies can give applicants on WEXO is 'Shortlisted' - what does this mean?
A: 'Shortlisted' generally means that the applicants have been reviewed and the company will review these applications further before making a decision on interviews or job offers.
Q: What kind of information can I search for?
Anyone can search for opportunities for free but they can only see the opportunities available not the companies that have posted them. For deeper access, they have to register as Members.
Q: How does the application process work?
A: Once fully paid up, users can apply for opportunities and/or send them to friends. Each job posted has a unique contact email for the person in the company who 'owns' it. Each time an application is made (using buttons on the job posting), they receive an email notifying them of that application with a link to their Dashboard. As with other networking sites, until such a time as they need to enter dialogue to discuss interviews or job offers, companies and users email addresses are not identifiable so as to protect identities and capitalise on the benefits of Straight Through Processing (STP) whilst using WEXO to match and manage applicants and postings.
Q: How does the Dashboard work?
A: Companies and Members both have Dashboards which allow them to edit profiles etc, monitor what applications have been made, the status of those and the tools to communicate with the other party in relation to interviews and offers. For each job posted the applicants will be ranked in order of how closely their qualifications match the posting requirements (alleviating the need to trawl through CVs and allowing Companies to ‘cherry pick’ the best people, as, when and if they want them).
Q: Why WEXO?
A: Work Experience Online. Simple.
Q: I am a company interested in using WEXO to manage work experience applications but don't want to get thousands of applications and cannot guarantee that we will take people unless they are exactly what we are looking for?
A: No problem. WEXO's filtration and matching software allows you to search applications for relevant candidates. You only have to get in touch with the applicants that you are interested in - they never know your email address so there is no risk of being overloaded with follow up correspondence.
Q: How old do I have to be to use WEXO?
A: WEXO requires that its users are 14 or over. The law sensibly makes provisions to protect 'minors' and puts particular restrictions on working practices for young people under the age of 14.