Work Experience for young people and employers

The benefits of Work Experience for students

Students in Year 10 are often required to complete work experience, generally lasting one or two-weeks, or one day a week in the school terms. As it gets closer to the time of work experience, you may be thinking “how is this going to help me?”, or “I’m only in year 10, how does this apply to me now?”.

Work experience is incredibly beneficial and supportive. At this stage in your education, you will be starting to think about your college or work choices. You may already know what career path you wish take or, you might be unsure of your options and potential opportunities. Work experience will help you to explore the world of work and develop some new skills. It might give you some insight into a specific industry. You may decide that it isn’t quite right for you.

“I did my Work Experience in a hotel, thinking I really wanted to go into Hotel Management. After my first week, I knew it wasn’t for me. I stuck it out, as it gave me a broad experience of various different roles, such as catering, housekeeping, bar tending and as a receptionist. I was glad of the experience and it helped with my employability skills.”

Work experience helps you to build on or learn new skills, helps to boost your confidence and widen your network, which is important in areas such as Cornwall.

If possible, try to arrange your own placement as this gives you a better experience all round. It also means that you have more choice regarding where you go or what you do.

The benefits of Work Experience for employers

As an employer, you may feel you are simply too busy to offer work experience opportunities, but it can be very rewarding.

By offering work experience, you are supporting the next generation in their transition from education to employment. You are introducing them to the world of work and giving something back to the community.

A positive work experience placement can be a really good advertisement for your business. Word of mouth plays an important part in marketing, and if someone has had a positive experience, they will talk about it.

You may also gain a new way of doing something. Any new employee can bring a fresh perspective to the way you do things, the same can be said for someone on work experience. It can have a positive impact on your team, boost morale, and some employees may even gain skills in a mentoring capacity.  You may meet your next employee and have a reliable seasonal or weekend worker to call on when things get busy. It could be seen as a working interview. The benefits of work experience are endless.

Although, work experience isn’t only for school and college students. Some businesses may offer work experience for individuals that may be considering a career change. If you are interested in finding out more about offering work experience placements in Cornwall, then get in touch. We have links to schools and colleges, and with your permission, can pass on your details. Some checks will need to be carried out.

Overall feedback from students, employers and schools on work experience is that the opportunity really does makes a difference.
Sue Willmott - Business Owner - HR and Careers Coach

AUTHOR: Sue Willmott
– Owner & Remote HR and Careers Consultant for Sue Willmott HR & Careers Consultancy.

I am an Associate Member of the CIPD. I hold an MA in Human Resource Management and an ILM Level 5 Coaching and Mentoring. We are Matrix Accredited and a member of the Careers Development Institute.

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