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Helping Young People - Work Experience

Trading for Good Guide to Work Experience


 

What does work experience mean for you?

Work experience is a great way of giving young people an all important first glimpse of the world of work. Smaller businesses have a wealth of expertise and knowledge that they can share with someone who is just starting out on their career. Work experience can vary widely in terms of what you and they can get out of it. You could just simply connect to a local school and take on a young person for a couple of weeks. Alternatively, you could take on an 18 to 24-year-old who is currently looking for a longer term placement to help get their career on track. Finally, you could explore taking on a graduate or an apprentice as a way of giving them valuable experience. Who knows? You could even end up hiring them.

What do you need to do?

The placement that you offer will need to provide a hands-on opportunity to see the job in action and to help the young person gain some practical experience. You could write up a job description with a few bullets on the main tasks but the most important thing is that the actual placement gives some meaningful work. 

How do you offer work experience?

  • Local Schools. For school placements just contact your local school offering your services.  They will be happy to match you up with pupils.
  • Local Job Centre. For work placements for people seeking work you can call your local job centre.
  • Nearest University. Graduates will also be looking for experience. Small businesses are a great entrepreneurial resource and 82% of graduates believe that working for an SME provides greater jobs satisfaction than working for a large organisation.
  • If you have a need for graduates with Science Technology Engineering or Maths you can contact www.step.org.uk who specialise in these areas. Otherwise contact the nearest university and speak to the careers advisor.
  • Local charities supporting employment such as Remploy are a great source of people

What else do you need to know?

Health and Safety concerns should not put you off offering work experience.  As long as you are complying with existing employment legislation for your workforce, there is little more that you need to do.  For young people who haven’t left school, you will need to carry out a simple workplace risk assessment making sure they don’t work in hazardous conditions and for no longer than 40 hours a week.  The majority of insurers will cover work experience participants if you inform them in advance. 

 

Kevin Barber
About the Author

Kevin Barber

Trading for Good East of England. Helping small businesses strengthen their reputation and grow by showcasing the good work that they do in their communities.

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