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The New Year is one of the busiest times of year for people looking for new jobs or a career change. But it isn’t just the traditional ‘new recruit’ that can help to bring fresh ideas to an organisation. Offering work experience placements has a variety of benefits for both young people and employers, as well as society as a whole.
The idea of businesses and education working together to better prepare younger generations for the world of work is not a new one – however, all too often employers view taking on work experience students as a chore, which draws on existing resource and time for little in return.
However, in actual fact, offering work placements can bring a range of benefits to the employer, aside from the obvious additional resource – and while these might be harder to measure, they are important nonetheless.
Here at TurnstoneHR, we have engaged with both Furness College and Lancaster University to offer both intern opportunities and student projects, and have found both relationships to be mutually beneficial.
Some of the benefits to the employer in these relationships are:
– Recruitment – taking an active role in improving the quality and preparedness of the young people coming onto the labour market can help to improve the talent pipeline flowing into your business. Strong links with schools can also help to reduce recruitment costs.
– Reputation – offering work placements can be a valuable means of generating a positive image both locally and nationally. It may also help to reach different audiences (such as students, parents, teachers) than those ordinarily reached by marketing activities. This reputation may even influence career choices, again, boosting the talent pool from which to choose.
– Staff development and engagement – Work placements can help in the creation of management development opportunities for existing employees, helping to give experience in areas such as process of policy development, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and to develop skills such as coaching, communication, training, influencing, negotiating, and the ability to resolve conflict.
– Staff morale – participation in education-business link activities has been shown to have a positive effect on employee morale and motivation.
If you are thinking of offering work experience placements, there are a few important things to consider to ensure that it results in a ‘win-win’ opportunity for employers and students alike.
– Firstly, it is important to assess exactly what you can offer (and what will be beneficial to you, both in the short and the long term).
– Try to establish links with local schools and colleges – building a relationship that will be advantageous to all parties.
– If you can, offer greater flexibility than the traditional two-week work experience window.
Done properly, work experience placements can provide a valuable opportunity for employers to develop their existing staff, improve recruitment links, and utilise a potentially valuable resource, at the same time as giving young people a chance to gain vital experience and contribute to the community and society as a whole by helping to develop the younger generation.
If you would like assistance with implementing work experience placements, or any aspect of HR management, please contact TurnstoneHR on 01229 615 280 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE consultation.