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The Government has introduced a number of schemes involving work experience placements, as part of its wider welfare-to-work policies.

Work Experience, the largest of the programmes, involves placements of between two and eight weeks and it targeted at 16-24 year olds. Participants on the scheme do not receive a wage but continue to receive benefits and must continue to look for permanent work. Participation on the scheme is voluntary.

Mandatory Work Activity comprises work placements lasting for four weeks, for up to 30 hours per week. Jobcentre Plus advisers can refer claimants to the scheme where the claimant may benefit from establishing disciplines associated with employment. Benefit sanctions may be imposed on those who fail to participate.

Other programmes involving work placements include the Work Programme and sector-based work academies.

Also summarised in this note are evaluations of previous work experience programmes in the UK and some international case studies.

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