Extended work experience helps businesses and young people

18 March 2016

Youth Connexions is looking for employers who would like to get involved in offering extended work experience placements to students at Hertfordshire schools.

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This is an opportunity for employers to have a young person working in their business one or two days a week over an extended period, providing  an invaluable extra pair of hands to help with day-to-day tasks. The young person is unpaid so there is no extra cost, and by taking someone on the employer helps them to gain skills and experience that will make them more employable in the future. It can also give staff the opportunity to gain experience of supervising and mentoring a young worker.

Youth Connexions arranged a work experience placement at Finesse Leisure based at Stanborough Park, Welwyn Garden City, who were happy to offer an extended placement one day a week to a Year 11 student studying at Links Academy in St Albans. The student proved able and enthusiastic about the range of activities he was asked to do, which included helping set up and support on-water activities, maintain equipment, work in the office and help staff keep the public areas clean and tidy. 

The student's placement was so successful that he was offered a seasonal position over the summer in 2015. His involvement and range of activities increased over time and he has been invited back for the 2016 season.

This is what the employer said about the extended work experience programme: “Working in partnership with Youth Connexions was very successful for us and saw a young candidate learn new life skills, build confidence and gain work skills and knowledge in an outdoor education environment."

Other businesses involved in the scheme have been so impressed by the young people they took on that they have hired them as permanent members of staff when they left school.

As part of the programme, Youth Connexions and the students’ school support the young people with regular one-to-one sessions throughout the placement. The students also have the opportunity to achieve the City & Guilds Employability Skills qualification.

If you are interested in joining our bank of supportive employers who offer extended work experience, please call Youth Connexions on 01438 844766 or email workrelatedlearning@hertfordshire.gov.uk .