It's only part of the picture, as with all news stories. The schools are the ones that drive the work experience, not the parents. My son's school asks for parents to volunteer work placements every year, and they are always oversubscribed. They contact local businesses, all of whom are in the county, all are being harrassed by local schools wanting work experience. The feedback a teacher friend gets is that most of the teens are rubbish - lazy, boring, rude, skivers, untidy, a pain in the neck to have around and can't be trusted with anything but the most boring of tasks when of course the teens think they should be sitting in the CEO's office.
So when it came to be time for our son to do his work experience last year, my husband decided that we would do our own thing and contacted a friend who works for BT in a large office about 30 miles away. He said that they didn't do work experience there at all, but could put us in touch with the Head Office in London, as they had special schemes down there. We contacted them, they were a bit suprised, but very happy to slot our son in with all the London teens. I would have refused to let him go, but my husband insisted.
Then we had to work out how to teach him how to get there, how to use the underground, how he wouldn't get mugged, buy him a suit, buy him a rail ticket and an oyster card andbasically take him to London to show him the route to work and where to change trains etc. He had to learn to be a commuter.
The whole thing came as quite a shock to all of us, especially when his train was halted one night for about three hours in a siding somewhere, and there was a suicide one morning on the track which halted all the traffic to the station and made it impossible to get him to London and also prevented my husband from getting in to work, because everyone hearing that the trains were halted took to their cars and the M25 was jammed solid from our direction, as were al the roads leading to it.
At the end of his time, my son said that he would be bored rigid doing the same work every day, he did change departments every week but by the end of day two each week he was fed up but very polite and didn't let on. He, on the other hand, got a very good review and they would have been happy to offer him a job if he had wanted it.
I would say - don't bother. Leave them alone, let them find out in their own good time and save yourself a fortune and a lot of hassle.