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What do teachers think of work experience?

March 25, 2012

The present Government has been consulting about its proposal to remove the statutory duty for schools to provide work related learning for students (which is often delivered through work experience).  This is part of the response by the Association of Teachers and Learners:

“The current economic circumstances, the extreme levels of youth unemployment, plus policies such as those which drastically increase the financial burden of higher education, all make for a pretty tricky context to grow up in. Government should not be adding to this by cutting off more support for young people’s development and in turn trimming down their prospects. This is a heady cocktail government is offering which appears irresponsible, unfair and destructive. For today’s teenagers the costs and risks associated with making the wrong decisions are bigger than ever.

We believe that the Wolf Report was short-sighted to say that because young people no longer enter permanent, full-time employment at the age of 16, they do not need work experience at key stage 4. Transferable workplace skills, behaviours and attitudes can and should be built up over time and can aid decision-making (even at a basic level such as a preference for working outside or in an ‘office job’) – not just on careers but subjects and courses post-16.

Work-related learning, especially work experience, can reinvigorate pupils’ interest in education and give them a sense of purpose. It would seem risky to delay such potential reengagement with learning.”

The full response by ATL can be downloaded here.



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