How to create winning work experience

Dec 6, 2021 | Apprentices & school leaver | 0 comments

A well-managed work experience programme will provide students with a rich experience of work and build a strong talent pipeline.

ISE’s webinar on Creating a winning work experience programme got together Asha Jagatia from Vodafone, Juliet Silvester from Fujitsu.com, Marie Jobson from Careers & Enterprise Company and Jon Mallott from Springpod.

They shared how you can build and manage a successful work experience programme and align it to a schools’ careers strategy. Here are some top tips:

Align aims with those of the school or college

Careers leaders will set the aims and intentions of work experience, which could be based on school or college priorities or their socio economic context, destination data or the impact of the pandemic. As a result there could be many aims – from raising aspirations to understanding the workplace – and no experience can meet them all.

Building talent pipelines depends on student engagement through meaningful experiences. To achieve this it’s important to be razor sharp. As well as enabling us to do less but achieve more, setting a clear purpose and focus is a sure fire way of creating a winning work experience.

Consider what it is that careers leaders and their students need to know and how you can fulfil it while meeting the needs of the business.

Focus and structure your activities

Once you understand why you’re doing it, it’s important to structure the work experience in a way that creates impact.

Don’t try and do too much. Make the implementation tight in terms of what students need to learn and do.

For example, if you are looking to meet diversity targets by raising aspirations among Year 7 and the outcome is that students engage with your organisation and understand their options after year 11, consider how you can support these young people and how you can add value.

Involve team members from a range of positions to get involved. Activities could include meeting different staff to understand their career journeys through a Q&A or virtual tour of your organisation.

Measure impact

To build successful relationships with schools and colleges it’s important that the student can clearly understand the value of the work experience and that the career leader can see how it will have an impact.

Ensure you have reporting in place that allows you to evaluate the impact of your programme and whether you have achieved your goal.

Consider how you could measure impact such as through evaluation forms, providing references or providing feedback on projects.

Celebrate success

Clear aims and outcomes enable everyone involved in the process to identify success more easily.

Consider why and how an experience was successful and celebrate this. There are a myriad of ways to celebrate and mark the success of a programme from an event and recognition initiatives to challenges and use of hashtags.

The Careers and Enterprise Company offers a range of support in its Resource Directory

Watch ISE webinar Creating a winning work experience programme

Read more insight, advice and case studies on work experience

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