Helping under 16's find their feet in the world of work.
The catch 22 as we all know, is how do you get a job to get experience – if you don’t have experience in the first place? The City and Guilds conducted a nationwide survey, with over 80% of businesses believing that experience in the workplace is key when recruiting. A great way to combat this (especially at a young age) is through National Work Experience week (WEX), with the general consensus stating that work experience really does matter (The Telegraph, 2015).
As part of National Work experience week, Blueberry took on two Year 10 students on a week-long placement. We placed them in the charge of our members of staff that had been knocking on the door for more management experience, and not only it was great to see how they rose to that responsibility, but how the students also adapted to the new environment.
We saw them develop their communication skills, and basic office and computer skills – what seems so simple to those of us who have spent many years behind the computer in a battle with excel, all takes time to learn! It was also a surprise to see the amount of jobs that cropped up for them to do when we sat down and had a think about it.
Without being too obvious, you do get out what you put in. When you start up a business, it’s common knowledge that you invest the whole way, so please take a chance and invest in the young people in your communities. Taking on people temporarily may take up a chunk of time and resources, but there are rewards to be gained by both parties. Small hints and tips, or pieces of knowledge that you might be able to give young people can set them on the right path or give them a clue as to what they want to be doing in the future. They could also decide that they want absolutely nothing to do with your sector or your line of work, and that’s absolutely fine too!
At the end of the week, one of the boys turned around and said that he really had enjoyed the work and wanted to explore it further. We found that he did well taking on the work load, so it’s more than likely that he has a promising career in Marketing ahead of him!
If you can look past the small initial investment in time, we’d genuinely urge you to explore taking on work experience students at some point throughout your business’ lifespan (if not annually!) Not only for the reasons listed above, but it’s simply a great feeling that you get from knowing you gave someone their first chance at work. Because I bet that regardless of how many years have passed, you still remember yours.