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Work experience benefits employers too




Column by Jaz Abeysekera, marketing manager at Grantham College

You may well have heard of industry placements by now with the upcoming introduction of T Levels into the qualifications ether.

T Levels are a new two-year qualification whereby the student undertakes 20 per cent work experience with a local business or employer and spends the remaining 80 per cent in the classroom; meaning they will have undertaken a minimum of 315 hours in the workplace throughout the academic year.

Jaz Abeysekera (6000134)
Jaz Abeysekera (6000134)

I always read about the benefits this has to the student with new, valuable skills under their belts and a more clear idea of what they do – or definitely don’t – want to do with their future career paths, but I never see anything about the benefits it has to the employer.

Aside from the fact that it’s an extra pair of hands around the place, taking students on for a work placement gives you an insight into the upcoming workforce, giving you the opportunity to shape and influence the young people who are hoping to join your industry.

Evidence shows that employees recruited through work inclusion schemes are more loyal as the job seems more valuable to those who have gained it after undertaking work experience or through a placement. This in turn, increases your retention rates, giving you direct cost savings to your business.

If you decide to take on a student, use this opportunity as a way to resolve entry level skills shortages. Companies in key sectors are struggling to fill entry level vacancies so by offering an industry placement or an apprenticeship gives a young person the opportunity to develop their work readiness and technical skills.

From the student’s point of view, they are more likely to make well-informed decisions about a career pathway if they have already‘given it a go’.

Many employers and businesses also use this as an opportunity to develop their own staff as mentors and trainers. Existing staff will gain skills in management and mentorship which in turn should increase job satisfaction. Building partnerships with local education providers also offers opportunities to raise awareness of employment availability and opens doors to upskilling your current workforce.

Perhaps the most appealing benefit to a business or employer is building brand value and corporate reputation. By demonstrating a commitment to equality and diversity and recruiting employees from excluded groups, you are not only helping address some of society’s most critical issues, but you are also providing opportunities to local young people.

This in turn raises the profile of the company within the local community and hopefully nationally as the public exposure spreads among employees and customers.

If you’d like to offer an industry placement to one of our students, please do get in touch with me at jabeysekera@grantham.ac.uk


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