79 per cent of employers think work experience is key for young people

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15th October 2015 11:50 - Business Support

According to the findings of a recent study by the British Chambers of Commerce, 79 per cent of employers believe that work experience is 79 per cent of employers think work experience is key for young peoplevital for young people joining the workforce. Despite this revealing finding, a third of businesses do not offer any work experience opportunities for young people.

The survey of more than 3,000 businesses discovered that small businesses are the least likely to offer work placements to students and even amongst the companies in the survey with over 250 employees, more than one in eight do not offer any work experience opportunities.

Of all the companies in the survey, 36 per cent do not offer work experience opportunities for young people or students. Although, it’s perhaps important to note that many of the respondents of the survey were small businesses, which occasionally do not have the resource to organise work placements or effectively manage student placements. However, even amongst the medium sized businesses (50 – 249 employees) in the survey, 16 per cent do not offer work experience.

Of the businesses in the survey with more than 250 employees, 12 per cent had actively opted out of offering work experience to young people.

In 2012, the UK Government removed work experience from compulsory education, which in turn has increased the shortage of work placements in the UK. Following the Government’s decision, many schools have withdrawn from work experience entirely and networks with local businesses, gleaned from decades of work placements, have dwindled.

Amongst the companies which do not offer work placements, the primary reason for 36 per cent not doing so is not having enough information about what’s required of them. As well as this, 33 per cent cited not having staff nurturing relationships with schools and 19 per cent cited not having a clear idea of the benefits to their business.

Approximately 50 per cent of the businesses in the survey said that offering work placements was the most important thing they could do for young people, this was cited more often than mentoring, providing part-time work, offering enterprise activities and volunteering opportunities.

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