Teaching assistant posts are highly competitive, and so experience of working with children is essential when securing a job. Experience may include working in:
- educational settings;
- sports activities;
- youth work.
While very few structured work experience schemes exist, many educational providers welcome inquiries for volunteer work. You should contact them directly, outlining your career ambitions, as well as areas you'd be interested in supporting, such as literacy, IT or after-school club.
Degree subjects with practical placements, like education, youth work and childhood studies, will probably count as experience, but if in doubt, it might be best to check with potential employers. If you don't have opportunities like this as part of your degree, you could arrange to gain some experience either part-time over a specific period or full-time for a couple weeks.
There is a growing trend for universities to recruit for 'student ambassador' roles from their current undergraduates. This typically involves working part-time to promote higher education and/or a specific subject area, in local schools. Get in touch with your careers service for advice on volunteer or paid opportunities working with children and young people.
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