Work experience

We believe that offering work experience placements to students and adults is a great way to gain an insight into the important and interesting work that The National Archives does.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families defines work experience as ‘a placement on an employer’s premises in which a student carries out a particular task or duty, or a range of tasks or duties, more or less as would be undertaken by an employee, but with the learning aspects of the experience emphasised.’

Work experience in Document Services

The Document Services department offers a placement scheme to current school, sixth form college and undergraduate students.

A structured work placement is a chance to learn more about what it is like to work in an archive, and to get some practical, hands-on experience of working as part of a team. The work will include:

  • producing and returning original documents accurately from the repository floor to the reading rooms
  • using computer systems to log and track document movements accurately
  • working in a customer service environment
  • learning how we preserve and care for documents
  • learning about document relocation processes
  • working as an effective member of a team

A typical placement would be no more than two weeks – ten consecutive working days – within the Document Services department.

How to apply

If you are a student in the boroughs of Richmond upon Thames and Kingston upon Thames, Hounslow, Hackney or Tower Hamlets please check with your work experience coordinator as some schools may have arrangements in place for contacting us.

We also have contacts with the National Autistic Society, and we actively welcome applications from students with autism.

Update (February 2020)

Please note: Our work experience placements are now fully booked for 2020.

We will be taking bookings for 2021 after the summer, so please check this page throughout the year for further updates. If you are still interested in a placement in the future, please do apply again then.

For general enquiries about work experience at The National Archives please email DSDTraining@nationalarchives.gov.uk.