Work Experience Week – Ben’s Views on Work Experience #WEWeek2016

As Work Experience Week continues, we hear from Youth Ambassador Ben about his own work experience, and some of the challenges and barriers he’s encountered.

During my final years of school we were required to undertake a week’s work experience. At first I found it difficult to find work experience, I felt this was mainly due to lack of employer links with education providers and it was obvious there was lack of employers interested to take on work experience. Luckily over the past few years it seems this has improved significantly, with more and more employers offering opportunities, and also the proven knowledge that young people can do a job, have the necessary skills, and are willing to learn.

Thankfully I was eventually able to organise one week within a post-production office undertaking office junior/runner roles (making teas and coffees, internet research, and keeping a log of their library.) I also got the opportunity to assist one of the management team at Pinewood Studios and also to help out in the various departments and gain an understanding of what each department does.

A few months later I received an email from HR inviting me back to help within the finance department with filing, and generally provide office support. I was then offered a temporary summer job but with no guarantee of a job at the end, though I was informed it would be subject to review.
In recent years there has been a growth in interest from an employer’s perspective in taking on and training up a young person. Although following work experience it is obvious there is still some uncertainty about recruiting a young person for a job, or creating new roles.

In one view work experience can have a negative impact, as young people may be used as free labour to a company with no view to offering a proper role at the end. However from a young person’s point of view work experience can also be a great opportunity to learn what it is like first hand in the world of work. It can also be an opportunity to learn skills and decide what role they want to do in future.

To find out more about work experience benefits, and find an opportunity near you check out Get In Go Far!

For more information, please email info@youthemployment.org.uk or call 01536 513388.

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