Businesses can reap real benefits by helping recently enrolled school-leavers to gain work experience
Alison Murray, the new Work Experience and Industry Placement Team Leader at Eastleigh College is busy matching up offers of work placements from employers with recently enrolled school-leavers on BTEC vocational programmes who are seeking relevant work experience to put their course theory into practice.
Work experience is designed to bridge the gap between education and the world of work. It can help inform career choices, provide the opportunity for young people to prove themselves to an employer, and help instil the attitudes and behaviours expected at work.
Businesses such as Pure Projects Ltd are keen to be involved. Georgina Christie, Contracts Director, Pure Projects Ltd is waiting for the first work experience students to start and explains her motivation: “We have chosen to work with Eastleigh College as they have excellent course availability relating to Construction where students can learn vital skills to enable them to succeed in the construction industry. We aim to provide opportunities to students for valuable work experience on a busy construction site and hope that it can help us to increase the professional employment in the local area. The staff at Eastleigh College are helpful and friendly and have been very supportive throughout the process.”
By helping young people to gain work experience, businesses can reap real benefits, such as:
- Developing the supervisory and management skills of their current workforce
- Enhancing their public profile by supporting their local community
- Accessing a pool of hidden talent with people who offer enthusiasm and a fresh perspective to their business
- Promoting workforce diversity by widening participation of under-represented groups.
Paul Stannard, Vice Principal, Quality at Eastleigh College says: “It is vital that government, business and voluntary and community sector organisations work together to support young people. We know that an extended period of unemployment, if experienced at an early age, can affect future employment prospects and lead to disadvantages, such as ill-health and poverty. The cost to society of this, both financially and socially, is huge.”
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