Work shadow / work experience
These are excellent ways to establish contacts in your chosen field. Successful work placements can often lead to offers of work at a later date or generate leads to other opportunities through the valuable contacts made whilst on work placement. Try to use your holiday periods and free time during term times to exploit these opportunities. These experiences will provide you with a wealth of evidence to refer to in your CVs/job applications.
Contact local organisations/galleries directly, use the local yellow pages or creative directories e.g. CDI Directory Sheffield. The Creative Directory provides web links to key organisations supporting artists and designers, as does the Society of Designer Craftsmen.