Work Experience Week

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What better way to highlight the importance of businesses offering work experience placements for young people than doing so through Work Experience Week which takes place this week between 10th – 14th October 2016!

Here at Developing the Young Workforce Ayrshire, one of our Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) is to increase the number of businesses in Scotland offering work experience placements with a goal to grow these by 10% over a 3 year period. In addition to this we are committed to ensuring these work experience placements are of a high quality ensuring each young person gains a realistic and enjoyable first hand insight into the world of work.

Our two Business Liaison Officers Samantha Wallace & Suzanne Murdoch work extremely hard to source all Ayrshire school pupils suitable work experience placements whilst also carrying out all Health & Safety checks in each business taking on a work placement to ensure pupils will be working in clean and safe environment.

Samantha Wallace & Suzanne Murdoch

In order to get an idea of the different types of businesses offering work experience placements we went on the road with Sam and Suzanne and visited companies in many different sectors to find out what placements were being offered and why these businesses would encourage others to follow in their footsteps and offer pupils a quality work experience placement. Over the course of this week we will be posting about the different businesses we visited and why they would recommend for other organisations to take on work experience placements.

Firstly we visited the Adventure Centre for Education and interviewed Manager Chris Saunders who started out in the sports/leisure industry over 10 years ago. Chris explained his background involved youth work and outdoor education where he decided to bring the two of these together to create the Adventure Centre for Education.

So how did Chris choose a career in this industry in the first place?

“I was unemployed and during that time I went on an Outdoor Education course where I was inspired by the tutors at college to come into the industry.”

Along with employing 5 young people under the age of 24, the Adventure Centre for Education also take on several work experience pupils throughout the year as they feel this gives them the opportunity to inspire young people into the industry.

Chris also feels that investing time in young people brings many benefits to the business.

“They bring a different view point and it keeps the business fresh and relevant. We also hope to inspire them into taking up an outdoor sport as a hobby. We definitely focus on the bigger picture”

So would he recommend for other employers to invest time in quality work experience placements?

“Definitely! If the employer has the capacity to do so. Some of our work experience pupils have actually taken part in some of our activites and it’s also nice for them to see what goes on on the other side of it rather than just being a participant. They get to see all the organisation that goes into preparing an activity which in turns shows them the bigger picture of the business and the industry.”

If your business does not already offer work experience placements but would like to get involved contact Sam or Suzanne today on 01292 678666 or email swallace@ayrshire-chamber.org / smurdoch@ayrshire-chamber.org

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