Today is Day 2 of Work Experience Week and another great opportunity to highlight the importance of local businesses offering young people a quality work experience placement. According to Education Scotland,
“Work placements should enable young people to experience a relevant, challenging, enjoyable and appropriate learning experience within the contemporary workplace. A placement should help the young person to make informed decisions about their future careers.”
For employers, placements are an opportunity to get involved with the wider community, to spot new talent, and to assess an individual’s potential. Employers also play a part in developing the industry’s future skills base diversity.
We visited Boots in Kilmarnock and spoke with Assistant Manager, Alana Cole to see why the company itself offers numerous work experience placements including Shop Floor, Dispensary, Pharmacy and Customer Assistants to pupils in the local area and to also find out what Alana feels are the benefits of having an intergenerational workforce.
So why do Boots Kilmarnock take on work experience pupils? Alana explained:
“It’s good to get young people into jobs especially with reputable companies by giving them relevant experience in the world of work. It’s also good for their career progression and for their CV.”
Alana also stated that having young people in the organisation brings new, fresh ideas and enables the business to stay current within the retail industry. A work experience placement within Boots can be extremely beneficial for a young person as Alana highlighted that if a pupil performs well during their week of work experience the company will often offer the pupil a part time job whilst continuing with their studies. This is therefore a great opportunity for young people who wish to pursue a career in the retail industry as a week of work experience within Boots could open doors to many new opportunities.
So what skills and qualities does Alana look for when taking on a part time employee through the work experience programme?
“Good time keeping, motivation, enthusiasm and they need to have good communication skills. We can then help them to develop the skills and qualities needed to work in a busy environment like Boots but these skills are essential.”
Rebecca Evans, HR Assistant for Boots Opticians began her career with the company through a work experience placement, before going on to carry out an appenticeship with Boots which led her to her current HR role. Rebecca explains the importance of work experience and what the programme has done for her career progression. Watch the full interview with Rebecca below or by clicking here.
So would Alana encourage other employers to take on pupils on a quality work experience placement?
Absolutely! Working with young people has allowed me to gain a better idea of the skills and qualities they bring and I would definitely recommend it.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
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