Work experience gives students the opportunity to experience what working life is all about, often in an industry or occupation that they are considering joining in the future. It typically lasts from a few days to a few weeks, and although voluntary and unpaid, it has a lot of value for the young people taking part.
Why is it useful for young people?
- Helps them get their foot in the door of the job market – they need the experience to get experience.
- Helps them decide what they want to do and figure out what they’re good at.
- Prepares them for the world of work – experiencing things they can’t at college, such as office dynamics, responsibility, working in a business team, and so on.
Why is it beneficial to businesses?
Whether you’re the owner of a small local business or a manager at a nationwide corporation, there are plenty of benefits from offering work experience to one of our current students. So, what exactly do employers get out of a placement?
- Enhance your reputation in the community. Offering work experience can help to develop your business’s positive image within its local community, raising its profile with students, teachers and parents.
- A motivated helping hand around the workplace. Students know that a work placement is the opportunity to gain experience, make an impact and maybe even kick-start a career, so they will give their all to succeed within your company – even if it’s just for a week!
- Management experience for staff. Management in business – in whatever form – is something you can learn by doing, so any practice is invaluable. And a work experience student offers that opportunity for practice. Through supervising one or more of our students, along with setting tasks and assessing their work, your employees can work on their management and leadership skills in a real-world situation.
- A potential recruitment channel. When it’s time for our achievers to enter the world of work, their placement with you could influence their career choices – or even see them applying for roles within your firm.
Of course, we realise that there is some effort involved on the part of businesses that are willing to take on a work experience student. You, or a member of your staff, will be required to supervise the student, give them an introduction to the company and ensure they have enough to keep them busy.
To make things easier, we’ve suggested the following tasks for your work experience student that will benefit all parties concerned.
Research and presentation of research
What the student will get out of it – experience in resourcefulness, thinking for themselves and presentations skills.
What an employer will get out of it – time-saving, potential for a different perspective on their business.
Administrative tasks such as typing, filing, data entry, and updating records
What the student will get out of it – experience doing basic business tasks, time management skills and importance of attention to detail.
What an employer will get out of it – help with tasks that normally end up at the bottom of the priority list, time-saving.
Take notes at meetings
What the student will get out of it – the opportunity to experience a real business meeting.
What an employer will get out of it – potential to have a more productive meeting if someone is watching and taking notes.
Stock replenishment or ordering
What the student will get out of it – experience of practical thinking, numbers, responsibility, following protocols, communication with suppliers.
What an employer will get out of it – a helping hand with an essential yet time-consuming task.
Answering the phone
What the student will get out of it – confidence, practice speaking with a wide range of people, thinking on their feet.
What an employer will get out of it – training experience for the employee that usually does this task.
Designing and formatting publications
What the student will get out of it – experience with design software, creative thinking and problems solving.
What an employer will get out of it – time-saving, new ideas.
Customer satisfactions surveys
What the student will get out of it – experience dealing with customers and members of the public.
What an employer will get out of it – opportunity to obtain customer insights.
Brainstorming ways for business development
What the student will get out of it – the opportunity to flex their entrepreneurial and business thinking.
What an employer will get out of it – a fresh perspective on the way your business is run from the new generation of your industry.
Creating a social media plan
What the student will get out of it – digital marketing experience.
What an employer will get out of it – new ideas from a generation brought up on social media.
Writing for the company blog
What the student will get out of it – editorial and informative writing experience.
What an employer will get out of it – help with marketing and branding tasks they may not normally have time to do.