Citizens Advice Peterborough (CAP) offers engaging work experience placements in our city centre office. Each placement is designed to meet the individual needs of the person undertaking the placement.
What we can offer
- 1-2 week(s) work experience placement
- Informal interview/visit to CAP office prior to placement
- Initial induction and training on personal safety and confidentiality of clients and personal data
- Experience of a busy office environment in the city centre
- Experience of working within the charity sector
- Shadowing staff and volunteers who offer support and advice to a diverse range of people, many who are vulnerable, either face to face or via digital channels (phone, email, web chat)
- Experience of planning and delivering promotional events/volunteer training
- Experience of undertaking admin and general office duties
Suitable placement for
- anyone aged 16+
- people wanting to work in the charity sector/advice services
- people who can cope with listening to client experiences that may be distressing
- people who can understand the importance of confidentiality
- people working towards a law degree or equivalent qualification who are seeking practical experience of advice services
For more information about our work experience offer, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
View from a work experience placement: Twiza Mutambo
I started my two-week work experience placement with Citizens Advice Peterborough on Thursday 26th July with very little knowledge of the organisation. It was a very enjoyable experience in which I was able to meet and shadow some of the staff and volunteers from different departments, which gave me a great understanding of the advice service operations.
From shadowing Chris, a digital adviser, I was able to see how Citizens Advice Peterborough respond to a range of client enquiries online by providing useful links and information via email for the clients. This gave me a good insight into the types of issues that are very common nationally. Such issues include housing, benefits and debt, which were the common advice areas particularly in Peterborough. I also saw similar issues when shadowing Karen in reception and seeing her upload different clients onto Casebook. Being able to observe the types of difficulties faced by people in Peterborough has allowed me to be more aware of situations that I didn't really take notice of before.
During my time at Citizens Advice Peterborough, I was also able to observe Tina, one of Citizens Advice Peterborough information assessors as well as shadowing specialist adviser, Graham, as they both dealt with clients face-to-face. I found this very interesting as it allowed me to properly see the whole process of giving information and advice. From being able to observe different members of the team, I am now more aware of how Citizens Advice Peterborough operates and the amazing work they do.
Overall, my time at Citizens Advice Peterborough was made very enjoyable as the people were very welcoming and happy to have me observe what they were doing. I have acquired more knowledge of the advisory process and what different client circumstances can lead to as well as how they can be resolved if not bettered.
My week at CAP by Anu Opayinka
Before my week- long work experience placement with Citizens Advice Peterborough I had many misconceptions about the service. I essentially believed it to be a place to go and have your problems sorted out for you if all else failed- a hand- holding experience.
However, during the course of the week this was continuously proven to be incorrect. I discovered that CAP’s ultimate aim is to ‘provide the advice people need for the problems they face’, and as such, empowers people to help themselves, gain confidence, independence and hope for the future. I gained a plethora of new skills. From organisation skills gained through volunteering with Karen at the front of house, through to flexibility and resilience- a must during tough client meetings such as those I observed Marjorie, Saguna and Evie undertake. I gained knowledge of the systems in place as a safety net to help those who struggle and are vulnerable in society- from Universal Credit to PCAS and PIP- and, as a result, learned of the immense support there is available for those of us in difficult circumstances. But, above all I met a wide range of incredible people who serve the community around them tirelessly, heard their stories and, as a result my horizons were broadened beyond the daily grind of school, work and all that come with them.
Overall, my time at CAP was hugely beneficial, allowing me to gain knowledge of the charity sector, advocacy and a busy, city working environment.
Work Experience with Becky and Nav
We started our one month work experience with Citizens Advice Peterborough on the 27th Feb. When first arriving, the atmosphere was very welcoming. To begin with we were shadowing other team members learning each role separately whilst learning new organisation and communication skills. This gave us more of an insight to what CAP does and the procedures that takes place.
Whilst shadowing Karen, the receptionist, and Elaine we began to understand the roles in which they provide for the company and the help they give to the public. Whilst in the reception area we came to learn the ways in which Elaine provides information and assistance to those in need. In digital, we shadowed a few team members and we discovered the ways in which people can get advice through the website, phone calls and emails. However digital wasn’t for us.
We attended an event with a lot of other charities and collected flyers to help extend the amount of knowledge that CAP can provide. We learnt new skills like laminating and it was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Overall, our time with CAP was fun, memorable and provided us with the new skills we can use from day to day.
“Work without laughter is no work at all” – Becky (Work experience student)
My week at CAP- Lara
My work experience placement at Citizens Advice commenced on Monday 15th April and I arrived with a hope of gaining an insight into the day-to-day activities of the organisation. During the three days I was at Citizens Advice I explored a variety of the different tasks that each of the team members carry out. This included shadowing the front of house team members from the reception desk to the information assessors. Through this I was able to see what was at the core of Citizens Advice, the desire to help people help themselves. Another observational activity I undertook was sitting in on client interviews. I was able to see how various specialist advisers conducted their advisory sessions in order to help the client move forward with their predicament.
All of the activities enabled me to see the variety of things they do in order to help society. The most enriching part of my work experience was the client interviews as I found the manner that these were carried out in to be extremely nourishing for members of the general public that were seeking advice. The omnipresent issues within society such as benefit and employment problems are regularly explored at Citizens Advice with the team always doing their best to aid everyone that walks through the door.
Overall, I found that taking part in work experience at Citizens Advice was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Whilst my placement was very short, the team made sure I was able to carry out a variety of tasks and see all the different aspects of Citizens Advice. I have gained knowledge and insight that will remain with me for a long time into the future.
My time at Citizens Advice by Riya Patel
My work experience placement began on the 1st May and I came in on Wednesdays for five weeks. Before arriving, I was not completely sure what the Citizens Advice service did, but I was keen to learn! Over the five weeks, I learnt more and more about CAP by shadowing employees as well as volunteers and explored a variety of different tasks.
For the most part I was shadowing the information assessors, Elaine and Brandon, in the reception area. I saw how advice and information was given to clients face-to-face, and how everyone worked together, with the client, as a team in order to achieve the best possible solution. From shadowing the information assessors, I saw how CAP’s main goal was to help people help themselves, as the information assessors gave clients ways in which to tackle problems by themselves. My favourite part of working in the reception area was the warm and welcoming atmosphere that the workers created there, for me and for the clients.
The most informative activity I undertook was observing client interviews with specialist advisors, as I gained a greater understanding about the challenges that affected certain individuals, such as health and employment problems. I also learnt about universal credit and how it affects people on benefits. I saw that issues surrounding universal credit were the most common, these are the issues that seem to be explored extensively at CAP. Although, CAP mainly deal with these types of problems I also observed that people come to CAP with a range of societal issues.
Overall, my time at Citizens Advice has been a very enjoyable and enriching experience. During my time at CAP I have learnt about the range of issues that are tackled, and how those issues are tackled with in a way that brings self-sustainability. I have acquired skills and knowledge that will help me in any working environment.
Work experience at CAP - Adeena
I began my time at the Citizens Advice Peterborough in May 2019. Before beginning my work experience, I hoped to gain knowledge regarding how the Citizens Advice Bureau play a role in the social welfare of Peterborough as well as nationally. I am able to say this goal of mine has been successfully met. The experience has enabled me to see the biggest problems our city faces such as housing, benefits and debt and the positive impact made on others’ lives.
Shadowing volunteers and advisors from two perspectives enabled me to see the range of ways in which CAP aids the people of Peterborough. Whilst shadowing the receptionist and Elaine at the front, I was able to see how friendly face-to-face information is distributed and the importance of team work in making sure the process is efficient, positive and informative. I found the way in which Elaine distributed her knowledge and her commitment to listening and understanding multifaceted issues inspiring. One particular case which springs to mind is when a distraught lady came in regarding discomfort in the work place and benefits. The experience gave me a greater insight into the sheer complexity of the benefits system as well as how people coming in usually come in with multiple issues. Shadowing Chris replying to emails gave me further knowledge into the emails sent on a local and national scale and the diversity of issues people seek aid in. Exploring from both perspectives has allowed me to evaluate the importance of face-to-face interactions and communications through emails.
Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Citizens Advice bureau. I have found the experience incredibly refreshing enabling me to see life from a broader perspective. I have enjoyed meeting many of the lovely people who work and volunteer at CAP and gaining first hand experience in the policies and practices in place to aid the vulnerable.