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The Lasting Value of Work Experience

September 23, 2012

Until recently schools were required by law to provide work-related learning for their students.  Many of them fulfilled that  requirement by means of work experience.

The Government is in the process of removing that statutory duty, but at the same time is emphasising the importance of schools providing work experience for over 16’s and under achievers.  With the present rates of youth unemployment the whole issue of employability and work experience are now at the top of many agendas.

In Enfield we have found that nearly all of the schools are continuing to provide work experience for their students.  We also know that many schools in Enfield were providing work experience long before it became a statutory duty. So work experience is valued as a way of helping students make more informed career choices, learn workplace skills and develop soft skills and generally make personal development.

Some may ask “can’t they do this at their Saturday jobs”?  Sadly as the Daily Telegraph reported, even Saturday jobs have declined so that avenue has also been closed off for many young people today.

There have also been some notable references to the role of work experience in the careers of some high achievers recently.  Nick Grimshaw, Radio 1’s new breakfast show host, said that he did ‘lots of work experience wherever he could’ to achieve his goal.  Olympic Gold Medal winner Charlotte Dujardin asked for 10 days work experience with Carl Hester – one of the country’s top trainers – and never left.

So the value of work experience has stood the test of time, and has taken on even greater  importance for this generation against the backdrop of today’s economic landscape.

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