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Work Placements: A Springboard into the World of Work?
November 24, 2020

The gap between leaving the classroom and entering the world of work can be a daunting one- especially if you don’t have well-connected family networks who can help pave the way. 

Good quality work placements can bridge that gap, building young people’s confidence and helping them envision what a successful career might look like for them.

From work experience weeks to apprenticeships, 68% of business leaders agree that work placements help prepare young people for employment. But can an experience which lasts just days or weeks really provide a springboard into the world of work? And how can employers measure that impact?

How Skills Builder can help

Skills Builder offers a range of tailored support to employers, helping them design impactful work placements which really open doors.

A key part of being employable is being able to demonstrate the ‘soft’ or ‘essential’ skills, such as Communication, Self-management, Collaboration and Problem solving, which are important in whatever job you end up doing. 

Over the last decade, we’ve supported over 150,000 young people to build these skills. Based on our experiences, we have developed the Skills Builder Framework and Principles to make each skill teachable and measurable. 

Now we are working closely with employers across the country to design and deliver work placements which support participants to understand, identify and develop these skills, ensuring they leave the placement better equipped to secure that next job.

How can we measure this? Our Skills Benchmarking Tool is an effective and easy way to monitor the impact of a work placement on each participant’s employability, enabling employers to:

  • Work with each participant to reflect on their skills at the start of the programme
  • Use the results of the self-assessment to set personalised goals for that participant
  • Revisit the tool at the end of the work placement, to see progress and set next steps

Supporting Clarion Apprentices to thrive in the workplace

Clarion Housing Group is the largest social landlord in the country. Skills Builder recently supported them to design an apprenticeship programme for young people pursuing a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Business Administration. 

The aim was to design a scheme of workshops which support these apprentices to meet the interpersonal skills standards required for the qualification.  

The team at Skills Builder worked in partnership with Clarion to:

  • Design a structured learning programme to develop the required essential skills alongside their apprenticeship
  • Adapt to online delivery, to ensure the apprenticeship could still go ahead despite the challenges of social distancing
  • Create a series of online workshops to support the apprentices to identify, build and demonstrate their essential skills
  • Support apprentices to identify ‘on the job’ opportunities for deliberate practice and reflection on all eight of the essential skills, creating a direct link between their training and their day-to-day work

After completing the programme, 100% of participants reported they felt more confident in using their essential skills at work and used them more frequently as a result of the workshops. 

Find out more

To learn more about the support we offer, you can check out our free ‘Employer’s Guide to Kickstart’, designed in collaboration with Business in the Community, CIPD, and the CBI.

The top tips and free resources are also really relevant if you’re planning out a work experience, apprenticeship, or graduate scheme.

If you’d like to find out about accessing our bespoke support, tailored to your work placement, please contact Rosa Morgan-Baker (Director of Development, Skills Builder) at rosa.morgan-baker@skillsbuilder.org.

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