Work experience drastically boosts young people’s job chances – sixty-nine percent of employers are more likely to hire someone who has already spent time in their business.
The Populus survey of employers for the Department for Work and Pensions supports the old adage on getting a foot in the door. Even work placements completed elsewhere count as four in ten employers look favourably on this CV-enhancer.
Most businesses believe that school leavers and graduates are an asset. Seven in ten feel they learn quickly and bring a new perspective to their business. Around 80% see school leavers as adaptable and keen to prove themselves.
However 85% of employers also say they feel safer hiring people with experience and as such placements are a way for young jobseekers to get that all important edge.
That is why the Government is running the Backing Young Britain campaign, working with UK businesses to create thousands of opportunities for young people from work experience places to internships, apprenticeships and jobs.
Asking to do work experience for free is not always as easy as it sounds – the importance of work experience can create competition for the best opportunities. Backing Young Britain has brought together a group of young people – the Young Gov Panel – who have successfully secured work experience to share their tried and tested top tips:
· Little things that count so make sure someone checks your CV for mistakes
· Knowledge is power. Read up on the business and try to spot ways to help out
· Its not who you know. Ok it often is but if you don’t have an “in”, be brave – ask!
· Say thank you and keep in touch if no placements are available – that could change
· If you’re struggling to get experience, discuss options with a friend or your Jobcentre Plus personal adviser, who may be able to arrange a work trial for you.
Young jobseekers can also get a range of support at Jobcentre Plus. Angela Spearing, a Jobcentre Plus Recruitment Adviser, said:
“Work experience is a great way to learn new skills, get a foot in the door and see how you like the job. Alternatively there is support available at Jobcentre Plus such as work trials, which can be up to six weeks long and follow an interview with a potential employer. Work trials often lead to permanent jobs. To find out more, speak to your Personal Adviser or look at www.direct.gov.uk/whatsnext”.