Trident Booklet – Work Experience
When it is time to select your Trident placement you have the choice to select six placements out of the Trident Book or opt for a private placement. I did neither as I knew someone that was willing to take me on. If you decide to select six placements you have to do is choose six jobs that you are willing to do because you may not get your first choice then complete form putting your favourite choice first and your least favourite last on your placement sheet.
I would advise you to only write down six placements that you actually enjoy otherwise you may be very miserable for two weeks. If you choose to take a private placement then you have to find a company that you would like to go for Trident and ask them if they would be willing to take you on. If they decide to take you on you must find out if they have insurance to cover you otherwise you will not be able to undertake trident at that company. Finally if maybe you would like a Trident placement with somebody you know they must also have insurance otherwise you cannot participate.
If they are already
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It might not be a job that you had though you would enjoy but it will be experience of life at work and you might be pleasantly surprised! I was fortunate enough to know somebody who worked at the Crown Prosecution Service who agreed to accept me on the trident scheme. I am very interested in criminal law so thoroughly enjoyed the placement. A private placement is a company or person who is not under the Trident scheme but is willing to allow you to spend you work experience time with them. Sometimes you might have to pay for this.
You should phone or write to companies or people that you would be interested in doing work experience with. At my own interview I arrived five minutes early and dressed appropriately I was shown into an interview room by a security man. My mum was allowed to attend with me. I waited a while and had a good look around the room, there were law books and file on the shelves. A lady who was to be my supervisor came in and shook hands with both of us. I stood up when she came into the room. I must admit I was quite nervous – she explained what would be expected of me during my two weeks with them.
The first week would be spent with the crown prosecution service and the second week with the Criminal Justice Unit. I would also have the chance to attend court. She told me that I would need to wear a suit jacket when in court. She asked me if I had any questions I asked what type of court cases I would be attending and she explained. Preparation in pastoral lessons: We were shown a Health and safety video on outdoor work and office work. The dangers of electrical equipment and machinery. General advice on how to prepare Find out what the company is about.
If you do not know where the company is do a dummy run so you are not late for the interview. Check out times of buses or trains if you need to use public transport. Find out if the company has a place to buy lunch or if you are to take a packed lunch. I woke up early as I was very nervous and wanted to have a bath and wash my hair so that I would be smart and make a good impression. I dressed in a smart navy blue trouser suit. I was ready much too early which made it worse as I had too much time to think about what was ahead of me! Eventually it was time to leave and I was fortunate that my mum could take me to Portsmouth in her car.
I took a packed lunch with me as I wasn’t sure what happened at lunch time. When I arrived I walked nervously up the stairs and rang the bell at reception. A lady let me in to the office after I had introduced myself Sharon (my supervisor) welcomed me and showed me round the office and introduced me to the staff. I must admit that I did not remember many of their names. They were all very friendly to me and asked me if I was nervous. I was then taken to a room where I had to watch a Health and Safety video. Sharon told me where the fire exits were and gave me a booklet on bomb scares and fire procedures.
I was given a timetable on what I was going to do over the two weeks Trident period. I was told that I had to sign in and out of the building each day. I was also told the security code to enter the office. By now it was time for lunch; I was shown into a room with a television and ate my lunch. Sharon came in and asked if I would like to go into court that afternoon with a case worker. I was very happy to do that as I had never been into a court before. As I entered the courtroom I was shown into a row of seats behind the barrister for the prosecution.
I had been given a security badge to wear for that week so people knew who I was. As I sat down I started shaking, it was very intimidating. There were people wearing wigs and looking as if they had stepped out of the scene of “Kavanagh QC”! There were some very unsavoury looking people in the public gallery who looked very threatening. I was very glad that the case worker was right next to me. After a while the usher closed the doors, knocked on the judge’s door and said loudly “All Rise” which we did, the judge entered, went to his seat, bowed back and sat down.
The judge then revealed the charges against the defendant. The prosecution then put their side of the case, witnesses were then called. When the court ended I returned to the Crown Prosecution Service and Sharon said I could go home. As I walked to meet my mum a photographer outside the courts started following me and took my picture several times – I don’t know why. I was much more tired than when I go to school but really enjoyed the day and couldn’t wait to return the next day. The Crown Prosecution Service office wasn’t as big as I thought it would be.
It was quite old and used to be a courtroom; you could still see the crest on the well which the judge used to sit in front of. There were lots of desks with computers on; there was a fax machine and a photo copier. Also there was a kitchen with a microwave, fridge, freezer, kettle and cupboards. There were three sections in the office, one where the administration staff worked, another where the case workers worked and the other section where the lawyers worked. The Criminal Justice Unit where I worked the second week was above the Hampshire Police Constabulary.
It was much bigger and busier than the Crown Prosecution Service. There were several sections, to name but a few: – The Portsmouth lawyers, The Fareham and Gosport lawyers, a section where they dealt with police video and interview tapes, an administration section and a section where statements were written up. The first week I was in court most of the time. The second week I was on post duty in the morning which involved sorting the post and putting it in the appropriate section. I read through the cases with a Portsmouth lawyer for the following days court appearance.
I was asked to write up statements on a computer and put interview tapes on a spreadsheet which involved putting names and information on spreadsheets. When I was in court I was treated like an adult one person even believed I worked for the Crown Prosecution Service which made me feel very mature. I spoke to barristers and prosecutors which wore wigs and black cloaks. The judge wore a red cloak with a purple sash and a wig. The ushers wore black cloaks but now wigs. I learnt a number of things while I was on work experience such as how the court worked. How to load interview tapes on to a data vase.
Also file actioning on the computer. The first week was going well until Wednesday lunchtime, when the court was dismissed as a doctor couldn’t give evidence until the next day. I returned to have my lunch and watched some television at the same time. Sharon was off sick with flu and another supervisor called Adora came and saw me and told me that there was another court case that I could attend that afternoon and a case worker called Jeremy would collect me in an hour. I waited and waited then looked round the door of the office but could see nobody I knew.
I went back in the television room and waited. Twenty minutes later Adora came in and asked is I had been to court. I told her that Jeremy had not appeared and that I couldn’t find anyone to ask. She got very cross with me and said that I shouldn’t have stayed in the television room. I said I didn’t know what else to do. She then told me to go over to the courts and into one of the public galleries. AS it was gone four O’clock I rang my mum from my mobile and went home. I then worried all night that I would be in trouble the next day. My mum told me not to be silly as it wasn’t my fault.
She said that Adora should have checked that I was collected and probably felt guilty that’s why she shouted and got cross. It was quite interesting trying to hide from Adora the next day! The next week when I was at the Criminal Justice Unit I was working with a girl called Jo who had taken me under her wing and was really friendly to me, she told me about another lady in the office called Denise who had a problem with bad breath. I didn’t think too much of it when I was told to work with Denise. All of a sudden I felt very sick her breath was awful.
If I said something funny she developed the worst laugh I have ever heard it was so squeaky but it made her breath worse. Also while she was laughing she had laughed so much that she had a bit of a fit really. I was so glad when I moved on to work with someone else. I was very sad when my work experience came to an end and I had to return to school. I couldn’t believe that people actually got paid for doing such an interesting job. I definitely would like to work in Law once I leave school. Maybe join the Civil service and work my way up. It was nice to be treated as an adult.