WORK experience may have changed forever says a career company boss following the launch of its virtual work experience programme.
Warwick-based Career Seekers Direct has designed the ‘Let’s Do Business’ programme, with help from the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP). The scheme allows employers in sectors, ranging from advanced manufacturing to health and social care, to engage with secondary school pupils.
Those from years nine to 13 can hear from employers about the world of work, the skills and attributes employers value and the opportunities available in their companies.
Pupils listen to the employers’ talks, answer a set of questions to record what they have learned and provide information to use in job or Higher Education applications. They can also opt to complete real work tasks set by the employer to develop their understanding of the business in more depth.
The programme was piloted with ten Warwickshire SMEs and two schools, and has now been scaled up to 35 employers and is being offered to all secondary schools in Coventry and Warwickshire.
Eva said: “In light of Covid restrictions, there was no work experience last year for students, it is likely to be the same again this year and potentially the way employers engage with students and how students obtain work experience may change forever.
“The feedback from students has been positive since many of the employers are based in Coventry and Warwickshire and they can see themselves applying for a job there in the future.
“They like the honesty in how the employers present their organisations and they like the fact it is helping them to see a broader picture of future careers rather than being channelled down one avenue.”
She added the programme meant access to career insights from a number of sectors unlike more traditional work experience.
Helena Wallis, charity CEO at Stratford-based Heart of England Mencap is among those who has taken part in the Let’s Do Business initiative.
She said: “The pandemic has highlighted the importance of working in health and social care in our society and it has also helped young people to think about what they want to get from the world of work – it isn’t just about doing a job but making a difference to somebody else’s life.
“By offering virtual work experience, youngsters can see that there are a wide range of roles available in care settings such as finance, HR or IT which are needed to run a really efficient organisation.
“It is also about building a diverse and inclusive workforce by providing young people with the right training and opportunities to develop and move into bigger roles to achieve their goals and be the best person they can be. This programme is a great way of getting those messages across.”
Contact [email protected] for information on signing up.