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Early Careers Survey 2021: Work experience during a crisis

May 2021

How many students were able to find work experience during the pandemic? Did employers move most placements online? What proportion of opportunities were paid versus unpaid, and which did students find most useful? Prospects' Early Careers Survey seeks to provide answers to these questions and more… 

Key findings 

  • Less than a fifth (17%) of students had undertaken work experience in the last 12 months.
  • Lack of work experience was the main struggle for job-seeking university students.  
  • Around three quarters of students found work experience useful in developing their skills.  
  • Paid, longer-term and face-to-face experiences were most useful.  
  • Despite the pandemic, work experience was predominantly face-to-face.   
  • The majority of student work experience was unpaid. 

Download the full report

Early Careers Survey 2021: Work experience during a crisis

  • File type
    PDF
  • Number of pages in document
    15  pages
  • File size
    6MB

Download the full report

Download PDF file Early Careers Survey 2021: Work experience during a crisis

What's inside 

This report includes information on the following themes: 

  • availability of work experience 
  • work experience provision 
  • the value of work experience 
  • unpaid work experience 
  • implications for employers and careers professionals. 

About the report 

Prospects surveyed its audience throughout January and February 2021 to find out about their career plans and how the pandemic has affected their decisions. The survey received 7,189 responses, and the findings will be published as a series of four reports covering work experience, career plans, career guidance, and postgraduate study.  

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