From the mid nineties until 2008 the UK economy saw year on year growth and from the late 1990’s onwards it became the norm for young people completing their secondary education to go on to University as the number of places and variety of Degree courses expanded dramatically. Many people took a Gap Year before commencing their university studies and found it easy to find long term temporary employment to help them fund their further education or travel abroad.
This trend has continued although it has become increasingly difficult since 2008 for young people to find continuous or guaranteed employment in their Gap Year. This was a benefit to the individual but also of significant benefit to employers who when considering applications were not solely making selections based on academic abilities but could also consider the level of work based skill applicants had. The economic climate since 2008 has seen a steady decline in the need for just this type of temporary staff in the local area and several of the larger organisations renowned for providing employment to undergraduates throughout Gap Years and vacations have relocated out of the area or simply do not have the level of requirements currently. The value to young people of gaining employment during Gap Years and by working through vacations cannot be underestimated to future employers.
Offering individuals a formal work experience programme “internship” is the way forward but many small businesses are worried about having the time to implement this and also the potential cost implications. Speaking with many graduates who register with Highpoint they are often willing to undertake unpaid work experience for 2-3 weeks if it is based locally and would generally be willing to travel further afield if basic travel costs are covered. Whilst NMW Regulations have to be considered, genuine work experience placements are not covered by the regulations. Highpoint would be interested to hear from any businesses willing to consider offering work experience placements of 2 weeks plus to individuals actively seeking employment who are keen to secure commercial experience to aid them in their search.
If you would like to learn more about Work Experience Programmes, please contact Managing Director, Rebekah Handford FIRP.