Spending time in the workplace can help high school students make informed decisions about their future.  Many high school students pursue job shadowing opportunities to gain experience and valuable knowledge about companies and careers. 


  • Dress: Students will be asked to wear school uniform for these workshadow days. That way they are easily recognisable by other staff (to encourage interaction) and are neat and presentable should customers visit your premises. We will ask the ladies to wear pants instead of skirts.  If you require them to wear overalls/safety gear, please make the necessary arrangements to provide those items.
  • Transport: We will be arranging transport from the hostel in Simon’s Town to the Cape Town CBD or to a central point close to your offices. We will not provide a door to door service – students need to find their own way to the workplace, as they would ‘in real life’.. if there are any safety or logistical considerations we need to take into account, please let us know.
  • Work hours: Students need to leave early from Simon’s Town to avoid traffic. They will leave here at 6H00 to be in town by 7H30 latest. We suggest an 08H00 start at your offices and a 14H30 finish for both days with you. (That way they are ahead of traffic for the way home …and you can get some work done!).  They will need to be at a central pick up point by 15H00
  • Refreshments: We will ask students to take fruit and sandwiches from the hostel/home for lunch but if you wish to do so, you may arrange additional refreshments (muffins with coffee/tea) and a light lunch (pizzas). This is optional (teenagers are perpetually hungry so snacks are appreciated!)


The below are suggestions/ideas – please feel free to organise the two or three days in a way that is most convenient to you and relevant to the business/operations.  If you are a small business, you may host the student/s for one day – please let us know via email.


Day 1 – Getting to know the company, what it does and the different functions

  • We suggest you begin the day with an ‘orientation’ presentation. Familiarise the students with the office environment and rules of the organisation including safety/evacuation etc and also ‘how things are done around here’ ie behavioural expectations (hopefully we as Lawhill have prepared them well for this, but if you note any issues feel free to guide and also inform us!).   Please also emphasise issues such as punctuality, no leaving building without notifying reception, etiquette regarding mobile phone usage etc.
  • If you have organised a structured programme from the day, please provide the students with a printed copy so they can learn to ‘self-manage’ and know what to expect when. Please allow for set bathroom breaks and time for lunch.  Please emphasise need to be punctual for the different presentations/activities taking place around the building/on the premises.
  • Depending on the nature and size of your business, do give them an overview of the different departments in the organisation, the role each one plays and how they interface with one another.  Many of our students don’t have parents who work in a formal environment and as such may not be aware of some of the aspects of the workplace which are familiar/second nature to others.  On the whole, students would benefit from insight into the operations of finance, HR, marketing/sales/customer, business development, IT, legal etc.  Allow time for questions from students and encourage managers to be frank about what they enjoy most about the work they do and what some of the challenges and downsides of the job are etc.
  • It is also helpful for managers to briefly share their ‘personal career journey’ ie what did they want to do when they were in Grade 11, the path they took (university/ straight into a job) and how their career has developed to this particular point in time, plus the hurdles and lucky breaks along the way – and the people and soft/hard skills which helped them achieve success.  Useful too is to have staff share the mistakes they have made, what they learnt from them, the right way to deal with issues when things go wrong as well as the kind of advice they wish they had been given when they were in Grade 11 etc.  Lessons on dealing with conflict are also useful to share.
  • If time permits, give the students a practical ‘exercise’… eg provide them with a challenge/scenario and ask them to give thought on how they would deal with that particular challenge ie if you were in my shoes, how would you deal with this challenge which is facing our business right now. Set time aside for students to talk about that as a group and to possibly present their thoughts/solutions on Day 2.  Many of the responses you receive may be naïve and reflect the students’ limited understanding of the complex organisational issues, but others may surprise you!.


DAY 2 and #– Experiencing the workplace

  • The focus of this day/these two days could be more ‘hands on’ ie get them involved in … or you may want to expose the students to a different perspective on the company eg hear from a customer, supplier etc
  • Another suggestion for this day is to set up ‘mock job interviews’ – the students could be interviewed for a ‘job’ by the HR person and then given advice/feedback on how successful the interview was.  HR could also guide them on what companies are looking for in prospective employees, what the most common mistakes are that are made by new recruits etc etc.
  • If possible, HR can provide a CV Template and update students on the latest do’s and don’ts in terms of CVs  .
  • It would also be appreciated if as many staff as possible are encouraged to interact with the students, possibly via ‘speed dating’ sessions.  This need not take more than 5 minutes for busy staff – basically they are required to pop in to the board room, introduce themselves to the students, talk about their jobs, their career aspirations and offer some career advice – or this can take place ‘in situ’.  It is also useful to have some of your younger employees come and share their experiences on entering the workplace – and offer advice! Do allow time for questions from the students.
  • A talk about ‘soft skills’ and link between attitude and workplace success would also be valuable.  Please do spend time addressing some of the issues that you, as an organisation, have picked up in new/young employees and recent graduates …eg attitude/instant gratification/‘entitlement’ issues.  You may also want to focus on a ‘4th industrial revolution’ skills, EQ etc.  This could be part presentation, part activity for them to work/reflect on or something to take home with them (the aim is to increase self-awareness)
  • Personal branding and the do’s and donts of social media and how that impacts employability is another topic which could be covered.



  • When it comes to presentations, they do not need to be formal. Story-telling is very effective when dealing with young people of this age.  They love to hear about a ‘real life’ incident in the company/ department (especially when things go wrong) and how that matter was dealt with. Humour is also a very effective way of communicating any message and will help to put the students at ease.



If you require us to complete these, please email them to by no later than xxxx.


If you wish to provide safety gear for the students, and require us to provide individual clothing and shoe sizes, please email us asap to request the details.


Please take lots of photos of our students in the workplace and email them to us at  We will be putting together an album for our FACEBOOK PAGE as well as Twitter.  Follow us and like us on @LawhillMaritime.

 Thank you for your support.  It is highly appreciated.  Queries/questions?  Email and cc or call + 27 21 786 2106 during school hours.