I receive many requests for jobs and work experience and understadably so - it is a very satisfactory, enjoyable and cetainly an interesting career. The first point I should make is that regretfully, I don't have any vacancies or am offering any work experience opportunities at the moment.
However, how can I help? Larger, multi-photographer businesses, mostly found in London, are the primary places to look. [not so many found in Kent.] Getting your foot in the door! Without trying to put people off applying, the standard forms of applications such as sending a CV in the post or an email can often get filed or ignored due to the quantities received and the lack of time to reply, or possibly because the recipient has no need or interest. So perhaps more clever strategies are needed. If possible, make an appointment to visit the studio, show your folio and meet the photographer/business owner face to face.
If you are produciing a CV, make sure there is a good quality recent photo of yourself included - you are applying for a placement in a "visual" industry. Perhaps you know someone in the business, or a friend of a friend does - use your contacts and social networks including online [eg. LinkedIn] - it helps!
Your portfolio is important. Many photographers [professional & amatuer] have their folio online as it is easy to do so and virtually cost-free. However, if you produce a folio, you are also demonstrating your skills at printing [hopefully you are printing your own photos!] and presentation.
There are many colleges offering photography courses and business courses these days - it's certainly worth investigating.
How did I do it? I was already a madly keen amateur photographer, still a student with little money and just a Zenith camera! I was lucky enough to get an in-job "Youth Opportunities" training course in aerial photography, after which the company took me on as a permanent employee. I continued to learn at work and also out of "work". I continued to learn and practice in the other areas of social and commercial photography. I joined photography clubs [which is another valuable source of information and contacts] and also attended some specialist courses until eventually I had enough experience plus the correct equipment to go freelance.
The economic climate is not good at the moment, but when is it ever?!!! I hope at least one little bit of this information might be useful to you.