Research by The Careers Enterprise Company (CEC) identified approximately 30% of young people don’t undertake work experience or have any experiences of visiting a workplace before they turn 16.
This is concerning as this type of activity provides an opportunity to develop an understanding of the skills needed in the future, an understanding of the demands of employment, an opportunity to test career ideas and for employers, an opportunity to help shape and inform the next generation of employees.
The key reasons behind this are the difficulties schools face organising block work experience that can last between 1-2 weeks; the are curriculum demands in school; cost restrictions; time demands organising it and a shortage of employers willing to get involved - which has become particularly acute following the pandemic.
In response the CEC are asking six areas across the country to test out alternative workplace activities that allow young people to have a meaningful experience of the workplace without undertaking a block work placement.
Kent and Medway Pilot
The Education People’s Skills and Employability Service and the Kent and Medway Careers Hub are running one of the pilots and will be working closely with EBP Kent and Medway EBP to deliver it.
The pilot project is to run for one academic year, 2023/24 and will test four alternative models of experiences of the workplace. They are:
This is not an exhaustive list and if you have alternative ideas that may work better for your organisation, we would be happy to discuss them.
It is anticipated that by adding these models to schools’ armoury of work-based activities including traditional work experience, schools will be able to ensure all young people have an experience of the workplace by the time they turn 16. The models are expected to complement, not replace work experience.
If you are an employer, we would like to hear from you and find out what challenges you face in offering work experience opportunities for young people, and any ideas you have for offering new experiences of your workplace.
If you don't want to complete our questionnaire, you can sign up to find out more and/or attend our 'Virtual Experience of the Workplace Employer Briefing' (15 November 2023 at 4pm) below.
*If you have completed the questionnaire there is no need to sign up as we will be in touch.
If you are a school and would like to get involved: