Caspar Bartington explains how a national charity is espousing the virtues of work experience and internships
National charity Career Ready is calling on employers to help prepare young people for the world of work by opening up their workplaces for work experience and internships.
The charity, which works with schools and colleges in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, is helping to provide meaningful work experience for the UK's young people.
Overall, 79% of businesses in the UK believe access to work experience helps young people develop the skills they need for the workplace, according to a British Chambers of Commerce survey.
Career Ready internships and work placements give young people vital information about the world of work and help them to make informed choices about their future career path.
Hannah Daly, a Career Ready student from Salford City College, comments: "My internship gave me a clear and defined career goal for the future and allowed me to expand my network and research a variety of roles within a specific industry.
"During my internship I was made to feel as if I can achieve anything when I put my mind to it. I now know that I can achieve my potential."
Indeed, 97% of Career Ready students go on to a positive destination, including into work or work-based training, (often the first in their family to go on to higher education) and further education.
Caroline Kandaya, Career Ready's lead regional manager for London and the southeast, says: "We know from 15 years of experience preparing young people for the world of work that internships and work experience placements are one of the most transformative parts of our programme.
"Internships and work placements can give students experience of what it's really like to work and put their skills and knowledge into practice. With an increase in apprenticeships available because of the levy, students on our programme are choosing to complete apprenticeships, as opposed to going to university, as a different path into a professional career.
"But there are also huge benefits for employers as well -- working with Career Ready will give businesses the chance to engage with their local community and provides employers with a pipeline of talented, engaged, young employees."
Career Ready give students from lower income families the confidence, skills and networks to achieve their potential. Established in 2002, nearly 12,000 young people aged 16-19 have been through the programme, which runs alongside their academic studies at school or college.
Peter Dobie, head of legal protection portfolio management, Allianz Insurance, said: "We are always looking for talented young people to join Allianz after obtaining their A-levels and are in no doubt about what an asset they can be to our organisation."
Offering a four- to six-week internship could help your organisation identify potential future staff and improve you or your team's management skills. For more information about hosting a Career Ready intern or work experience placement, visit the Career Ready website or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Caspar Bartington is relationship manager at the CII