Over the past 18 months students have been given the opportunity to undertake work experience, with local businesses and employers, in a wide range of occupations varying from game keeping to theatre production. At the time of this article we have over 66% of our Year 11 students in work placements or having undertaken work experience.
Why undertake work experience you may ask? A recent survey by Gumtree found that over 90% of employers thought that work experience was essential for anyone applying for jobs or college. The survey found that job or college applicants with good work experience were seen as more knowledgeable, more confident and more committed.
The 6 main advantages for our students are:
1. It’s a real introduction to the world of work.
2. It allows them to sample possible career options.
3. To gain workplace skills.
4. Gain personal skills like time management and prioritisation.
5. A chance to road test future career options.
6. Helps to build their confidence.
We have students gaining work experience at Dorset Trade Skills in Weymouth. They are learning about the construction industry and hands on skills like brick and block laying, carpentry and plastering. Not only are these students gaining valuable skills, but all are working towards a Certificate in Construction Skills.
Another student continues to gain experience within the Arts. She is working at The Weymouth Pavilion, behind the scenes, with all of its productions ranging from music concerts to plays.
Our work experience coordinator works hard to place students in an area that they either wish to pursue as a career or have shown an interest in. He arranges interviews, introductions and continuously monitors the student’s progress. He further seeks/makes new contacts within local business, industry and employers who may be able to provide quality work experience. Every student, who undertakes a placement, will receive a certificate upon completion and will have gained a real insight into the world of work and taken their first steps towards a career.