Post by Liz Wynn Owen, Hillview’s Employability and Careers Advisor
Eleven year twelve students are now out on placement one day a week gaining valuable work experience in the community. They have found placements for themselves in a range of settings including a residential home for the elderly, a nursery, a garage business, and a photographic shop.
It is a great opportunity for them to learn about the world of work and develop self-confidence in a role where they can extend their learning by doing real tasks, such as helping raise money, providing care for elderly people or motivating younger students Learning about business by being immersed in one for a day a week or developing language skills with a low cost flight and Airbnb accommodation is a great way to develop fluency in a language and absorb Spanish culture.
One student is helping with a primary school dance club and PE lessons and another is helping with administration in an agency caring for elderly people in their own homes. Others have opted to gain valuable customer care, stock taking and cash register skills working for different charities, including Oxfam Books, Mind and Barnados. Another student has decided to do her work experience in blocks of a week and will be travelling to Spain to do an intensive language programme as well as working for AXA/PPP Insurance in Tunbridge Wells
Improving Communication Skills
In addition these students will complete the year with an extra GCSE qualification at level 2: NCFE Developing Workplace Skills. This provides a chance for students to learn about Finance, ICT and Health and Safety relevant to the workplace as well as practising vital communication skills before they meet their placement employer.
Preparation for the Workplace
This post-16 work experience programme was successfully piloted in 2013 when students gained experience in business, the media , a travel agency, a hospital and the Citizens Advice Bureau. They have all gone into jobs or apprenticeships or on to university with a better knowledge of the workplace than many of their peers and a clearer idea of what they might like to do for their career.
The Department of Education is now actively supporting schemes like this with funding and advice for schools.
The flexibility of this programme means that Hillview can more easily accept students into the Sixth Form who do not have the grades normally required for A Level study. Students who are willing to retake English or Maths will be offered revision classes as part of the programme.
(Image from Targetjobs.co.uk)