In our day to day work at the university we often come across students who seem to have clearly benefited from work experience. They return to their studies with new and enhanced skills, greater confidence and insight, and often really useful networks to help them achieve their career goals.
If, however, you are looking for more concrete evidence of the benefits of work experience to studens then look no further than the the Futuretrack study. This provides real evidence that such experiences positively impact on student outcomes. Futuretrack is a six year longitudinal study, tracking the career development of the 2006 cohort of applicants to HE, funded by HECSU and carried out by the Institute for Employment Research at the University of Warwick. You can find the report at http://www.hecsu.ac.uk/futuretrack_research_reports.htm