Information on providing work experiences for young people

The chemistry-using workforce is a significant contributor to the UK economy, the exchequer and to employment.

There are estimated to have been 275,000 chemistry- using jobs in the UK in 2019, with a further 425,000 jobs supported by this workforce throughout the UK economy.

The contribution (direct, indirect and induced) of chemistry-using professionals to UK GDP was estimated to be £87 billion in 2019.

The chemistry-using workforce has vast and varied knowledge, skills and abilities which they apply in a wide variety of roles throughout the economy. 

As chemical science employers you have a crucial role to play in encouraging young people to consider a career in chemistry. Just talking positively about your professional life and what you do could be enough to inspire some young people to explore a career in chemical science.

If you are interested in doing more either as an individual or as an organisation there are some excellent resources and organisations that can help. The Royal Society of Chemistry has produced a guide with case studies from chemical science employers who offer experiences of workplaces.

Best practice

Advice and case studies from employers working with schools and young people

Virtual work experiences

Online encounters and experiences that take place between students and employers are happening more  due to the Covid-19 pandemic, while face-to-face contact is not possible. This approach helps young people find out about industries and careers that may not otherwise be accessible due to geography, health and safety concerns, and other practical and accessibility barriers. It can also teach young people about digital skills, teamwork and communication in an online environment.

But it is much harder to give the hands-on-experience and works best for project work that would not require lab-testing equipment.

Our top tips

  • Set up an online induction for young people to meet different team members.
  • Ensure there is two-way interaction between students and employees
  • Provide online training modules
  • Set a task or targetted project work relevant to your workplace
  • Provide feedback on how actively the student participated. Feedback on any task or piece of project work that was set.

Other resources for employers


Graphic of the UK with industries superimposed

Chemistry’s contribution: workforce trends and economic impact


Science and scientific skills play a critical role in the UK economy and society.

Graphic which reads 7,000 students from 265 schools took part in the ASPIRES2 Survey

Industry leaders’ urgent call for government to keep the UK chemistry talent pipeline flowing


Industry leaders have called on the government and education bodies to help school pupils discover chemistry career paths

Sterling coins and notes

What chemical scientists earned in 2019


Salaries have increased in line with inflation, and while the gender pay gap persists, it is at its lowest-ever level