Most schools have a work experience placement as part of their year 10 and 11 curriculum and it comes at a critical time in the students’ lives when they are making choices about what to study in further education. Yet how easy is it for schools to engage fully with local businesses so that everyone involved gets the most out of the experience?
Here at Prince Personnel, we truly believe in the benefits of work experience and we think it is vitally important for businesses, educators and students to make the most of this opportunity. Even though we are a relatively small business, we offer two work placements every year and always do our best to provide a meaningful and realistic work-based experience to all involved.
Making a Difference for Young People
As well as offering our internal placements, we were recently approached by three budding students to help them secure work experience. As a local recruitment business with 16 years’ experience of working with companies across a wide range of sectors covering the Shropshire area, we were delighted to use our knowledge and experience to really make a difference and ended up being able to place one within an engineering business, one in a legal firm and the other in a Food Technologies organisation.
All three thoroughly enjoyed their experience and gained a greater understanding of what was involved in that sector.
Why is Work Experience so Important for the up and coming generation?
Spending time in a real business, whatever the sector, is so valuable. Itgives hands-on experience and exposure at a key time in their lives and is a vital stepping stone enabling them to make informed choices about career options for the future.
Work experience helps the future workforce prepare for employment, develop a general awareness of team working and to gain a better understanding of the roles of managers and supervisors. Overall, it gives them a great insightinto the world of work as well as providing them with an opportunity to develop skills and increase confidence.
Maybe this short period of work will prove to be a start in the right direction or maybe it will confirm that this was not the career they want. In either case, it is a very valuable experience which cannot be learned from career guidance books or websites.
Business Benefits for Offering Work Placements
As far as we can see it is a win-win situation for all…….
For the student:
- It’s the chance of a lifetime to experience working with people, systems and procedures in a structured way.
For the educator:
- It provides great feedback and gives young people more motivation to confirm what they enjoy
For your business:
- You get the chance to give something back to the community and help shape, motivate and engage the next generation of employees
- You get the chance to identify talent for potential apprenticeships, training schemes and programmes and also possible future employees
- You could get some invaluable feedback, or you might get some new energy or new insight into your business from a fresh pair of eyes.
- It’s also a great way to promote your business to young people, parents, schools and colleges and position your business as one that is flexible, caring and nurtures talent.
Ways you can help the Future Workforce
So, what are you doing to help our future workers and how can we as employers help develop our future talent? Could we visit schools and colleges and give talks and insights about our industries? Could we coach/mentor and get involved in schemes like Young Enterprise?
Why not start with offering some valuable work experience places? Shropshire Academies and Colleges now have more vocational offerings than ever, so finding one that will be a good fit with your industry would be a good place to start. Talk to your local schools or colleges to find out what’s involved and how you can help.
We’d like to encourage everyone to think about how their organisation can help give our next generation of workers the best possible start on their career path. By developing a meaningful work experience programme where students work on real projects, the local economy, the future workforce and your business will reap the benefits.