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.'

We offer work experience placements throughout the year and in a variety of departments such as Marketing, Education and Outreach, Press Office and Conservation to name a few. Our placements typically last for two working weeks, and are unpaid.

If the department that you are interested in is not mentioned above, work experience placements may still be available within your chosen field of interest. Please contact us to discuss this further.

For general work experience enquiries please contact the Recruitment Team at careers@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk

Work experience in Document Services

We also operate specific work experience schemes: one aimed at school students in the local area, and another to give people with autism the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and develop a range of interpersonal and life skills. 

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 interested in taking part in one of these schemes, you should contact the relevant partner organisation we work with in the first instance; so either Prospects (National Autistic Society), or if you are a local school student your work experience coordinator. Local school students may also contact us directly if they are arranging their own work experience.

If you are an interested in a placement opportunity and would like to know more, please contact DSDTraining@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk