Delivering essential virtual work experience

Aug 5, 2020 | Work experience/internships

Simon Reichwald, Strategic Lead for Talent at MyKindaFuture and Honorary VP of ISE explains how virtual work experience is one way we can make sure no student is left behind in 2020 and beyond.

With so much still uncertain for the impending autumn term and the academic year, one thing is known for sure – we must continue to provide for students. One way to do this is through impactful virtual work experience that delivers results for everyone.

We all must continue to work together and introduce more and more underrepresented young people to the world of work and prepare them for a digital world.

In my last blog, I stated that ‘offering engaging digital alternatives that are easy to access and meet the students where they are will be key’. To avoid creating a disengaged cohort who feel forgotten about, and cementing an even greater skills gap, we must act now.

Creating engagement

After so long out of school, it feels harder to engage students and potentially trickier for employers to maintain their relationships with schools.

Understanding the current challenges and empathising with young people is essential – a webinar may not get their attention right now, but an Instagram competition will.

MyKindaFuture recently delivered a digital Work Experience Week that involved students collaborating online to tackle real-life and contextual challenges, working their way through themed tasks designed and delivered by experts and supported by specialists in their field.

The immersive digital experience provided students with the opportunity to network with one another as well as industry experts whilst completing tasks. The results from the Week were a staggering 100,000 views on our engagement platform and 98% engagement rate with tasks.

The message to us all is that students truly are ready and waiting for employers to deliver a great digital work experience.

Digital poverty

What we know and proved is that the success of any work experience is down to the delivery method.

Not only must there be an opportunity to hear from industry experts, but students must be able to access the content, tasks and challenges at a time that suits them, from their smart phones, on a platform that offers an exemplary user experience. Therefore, students with limited access to Wi-Fi and a laptop don’t get overlooked and we can aim to stop the loss of work we have all done to build our social mobility gains.

Multiple added employer benefits

Delivering a week of digital work experience that is impactful for students is not easy to achieve, but the additional benefits to this mode of delivery are also clear to see.

Without geographical limitations and with all content online, employers can reach more students than ever before, and re-use resources throughout the year.

Accessing talent from across the country at any time is an advantage for any company – helping address a sad reality that ‘talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not’.

On top of this, if you capture the student journey through a digital platform, you can immediately start building a talent pool. This then continues to provide ways for students to engage with you, and keep them not just warm, but excited by your brand.

As they carry on through education, you’ll have a pool of engaged talent for your future hires, thus driving down your costs per hire and speeding up time to hire – a win-win for everyone.

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