Teens keen for compulsory work experience – survey

From left, Northumberland Career College students Nicole Armstrong, Hannah Brooks, Jade Wilson, Nathan Thewlis, Katie Dolan and Chardonnay Summerfield.
From left, Northumberland Career College students Nicole Armstrong, Hannah Brooks, Jade Wilson, Nathan Thewlis, Katie Dolan and Chardonnay Summerfield.

Compulsory work experience should be put back on the school curriculum, say 14 to 19-year-olds.

In a survey of more than 1,000 teenagers carried out by the Career Colleges Trust, the overwhelming majority – 83 per cent – think that work experience should be compulsory on their school/college curriculum, suggesting the Government was wrong to remove it in 2012.

In the North East region, 81 per cent of respondents think work experience should be compulsory. Around a quarter (23 per cent) reported not having done any work experience at school, yet over half (59 per cent) had proactively organised their own placement.

Traditional education environments, including secondary and grammar schools, were highlighted in the research as being the least likely to offer work experience, with students at Career Colleges and FE (further education) Colleges taking part in far more work experience-related activities.

Marcus Clinton, principal of Northumberland College, said: “At Northumberland College, we prepare our youngsters for work through carefully-chosen career pathways leading to employment in areas that help to close the productivity gap in our region.

“Our Career College students are able to start their journey on specialist technical routes earlier while still pursuing their core GCSEs which gives them an advantage over their peers who are studying a traditional GCSE programme in schools.

“Additionally, Career College students are also able to work with employers earlier and therefore gain the resilience and experience that will enable them to succeed in their chosen career pathways.”

Nationally, more than two thirds (67 per cent) of those asked believe work experience is beneficial for finding employment, with more than half (56 per cent) saying that it allows you to learn valuable skills that are not taught in the classroom.

Ruth Gilbert, CEO of the Career Colleges Trust, said: “It is clear from this research that today’s teenagers in both the North East and the rest of the country, are desperate for good work experience opportunities and are very much aware of the benefit this will have on their future career.”

Visit https://northumberlandcareercollege.co.uk/ for more information.