Work experience, carried out on an employer’s premises, enables young people to gain practical experience in the workplace through planned activities.
The following is a summary of activities that employers could undertake when working with schools and colleges. It is not exhaustive but shows the types of activities an employer can get involved with.
Work experience takes place over a fixed period of time. It gives young people the opportunity to carry out tasks set by the employer (similar to those undertaken by a new recruit in training) and to learn about the world of work.
Young people spend time observing (shadowing) a designated company employee conducting his or her normal duties in the workplace.
Whilst under close supervision from designated employees, young people undertake a range of practical, hands-on activities specified by the employer.
The employer invites young people (accompanied by teachers) to visit the company’s premises for a guided tour of the facilities and to witness employees at work.
A representative from the company visits the school or college to talk to young people about their industry and their business. They might cover topics such as what the company does, the variety of career opportunities available and company background.
A number of different employers visit the school or college to talk about wider career options and explain the different aspects of their industry. The employer could supply any promotional videos to schools or colleges.
The employer presents a business problem or case study for young people to resolve using knowledge gained from their career, preferably one from real life.
The employer may provide materials and resources to help support schools and colleges in setting challenges and projects for students.
Materials which a company no longer uses and which can be released into the public domain could be of great use to schools and colleges. These resources could include such things as plans for developments at all stages, planning applications, job specifications and reports.
Not only can these be used for students but school or college careers service can make good use of company literature and company videos – both of which might lead to enquiries about job opportunities within those organisations.
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