Realising the potential of work experience

The Youth Select Committee have launched their work experience review, you can download and read the full report at the end of this piece.

The report recognises that work experience matters to young people, business and the wider economy. We have seen from our Youth Voice Census that young people are worried about the lack of work experience they are receiving, only 51% of young people are offered work experience in secondary school. We hear from employers that young people do not have the skills required or that they are failing to attract young people in to jobs and industries as young people struggle to navigate what they want to do and what pathways are open to them.

The report highlights that employers place a premium on their new recruits having relevant experience of the workplace, even for those applying for their first jobs. 65% of businesses surveyed by the Department for Education (DfE) reported that experience was a critical or significant factor in their recruitment decisions: more than said the same for academic qualifications. The same survey highlights that only 30% of businesses had offered work experience.

You can download the full report here. 

“We welcome many of the recommendations contained in this important review. We have heard from young people for many years that a lack of experience is hindering their choices and opportunities, our Youth Voice Census highlighted a high level of anxiety amongst young people who feel that work experience is holding them back.

We have enjoyed being part of the inquiry sessions and offer our support in convening a group to explore work experience and the industrial strategy alongside BEIS and DfE . Youth Employment UK has significant expertise in good youth employment practise. Our Youth Friendly Employer Award helps organisations to be recognised for and develop high quality opportunities for young people including work experience and employment.

Ensuring quality work experience is available for all young people is a priority and this is something we have been championing since 2012 as part of our work”.

Laura-Jane Rawlings, CEO, Youth Employment UK

We took part in evidence sessions for the Youth Select Committee earlier this year, the committee is a British Youth Council initiative, supported by the House of Commons. The eleven committee members are aged 11-18 and include two Members of the UK Youth Parliament (MYPs), two youth councillors, a Young Mayor, one elected representative from each of the devolved nations and three reserved seats.

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