School Employer Connections

Work Experience

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What is Work Experience?

School Employer Connection’s Work Experience Programme provides placements for over 1300 students each year that are:

  • high quality
  • bespoke
  • career specific
  • curriculum related (where possible)

Placements are provided for post-primary students, supporting careers teachers and in partnership with key employers.  Access to placements with key employers are mostly exclusively via SEC, at the employers’ request due to its best practice model.

We provide a range of quality learning materials for post primary students to use on work experience to develop, improve and increase their learning and knowledge of employability and the world of work whilst assisting the development and enhancement of their experience on placement.

We provide and deliver quality pre-placement presentations preparing students for their work experience (in support of careers teachers). SEC evaluates programme activity and reports to all stakeholders. Strategic relationships in order to provide regional expertise and advocacy on matters relating to work experience and employability education.  

What are the benefits of work experience?

Benefits to students

 

1.     Careers education and guidance: raising pupils’ awareness of the factors which may determine career choice and the requirements of particular employment sectors.

2.     Attainment in individual subjects: enhancing pupils’ understanding of the skills developed within the curriculum.

3.     Support for vocational qualifications: improving pupils’ understanding of the vocational areas they are studying and acquisition of relevant knowledge and skills.

4.     Learning about the world of work: preparation for the transition from education to work and a recognition of the kinds of “employability” skills and attitudes required by employers; such as problem solving, flexibility and the ability to work with others.

5.     General personal and social development: enhancing their self confidence, maturity and their interpersonal skills.

 

6.     Breadth of curriculum experience: support for pupils’ learning in a range of areas which will prepare them for adult life, such as understanding of social, economic and industrial issues, citizenship and enterprise.

 

7.     Health and safety: helping raise pupils’ awareness of the importance of following health and safety requirements in the workplace.

 

8.     Key Skills: offering opportunities to collect evidence which can go towards key skills portfolios.

 

9.    Career Planning: contributing to the development of a young person’s career plan.

 

10.   Motivation and achievement: helping raise pupils’ motivation and self-esteem through experiential learning.

  

Benefits to employers

 

Work Experience placements provide many opportunities and benefits to both employers. The most commonly cited by employers are:

 

1.     Influence the quality of future employees: Employers can help improve the quality and preparedness of young people coming onto the labour market. 

 

2.     Development of recruitment channels: Building links with local schools can help attract school leavers into jobs and can reduce recruitment costs.

 

3.     Influencing career choices: Many employers have found that work experience placements are the ideal way of raising the profile of career opportunities within their organisation and, in some cases, of dispelling unwarranted stereotyped views.

 

4.     Raising the community profile: Many employers attach importance to raising their profile in the community. Work experience placements provide a valuable means of creating a positive image amongst young people, teachers, parents and employees.

 

5.     Creation of Management development opportunities: The process of policy development, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of work experience programmes gives scope for employees to develop their management and coaching skills and widen their experience.

 

6.     Low cost skills development of staff:  The student work place supervisors benefit from developing interpersonal, presentation and team working skills.  They often gain self-confidence and a sense of worth through their contribution to the development of a young person.  Supporting work experience can provide evidence for appraisal systems.

 

7.     Increased motivation of employees: Companies participating in education-business link activities have found that such activities increase the motivation of their employees.

 

8.     Reinforcing good health and safety processes: Having to work through an induction with a young person allows the organisation to review current working practices.

 

9.     Innovation:  Students ask questions and bring a new perspective to routine tasks.  They often have fresh solutions, or time to research alternative approaches.

 

10.   Real Outcomes: Students can undertake planned projects that staff have not had time to manage.

    Structure of the Programme

    Students spend one week with a host business.  They are generally aged between 15 and 18 and we search for placements for a wide range of students representing many different schools.  School Employer Connections provides support to all parties throughout the process. 

    How do I get involved?

    School Employer Connections can guide you in the preparation for and provision of work experience.  If you feel that you could help a student by providing a placement, we will ensure that you are supported throughout the experience. 

    If you are interested, contact Owen Crozier on 028 71 867700 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  We are always interested in hearing from employers.  We value the commitment and good will of all employers who take part in work experience. 

    Note of thanks!

    The number of employers who use our brokerage service is growing every year.  Thanks to all of you for your support!

     
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    Catalyst Inc, The Innovation Centre, Bay Road, Derry-Londonderry BT48 7TG
    E: info@seconnections.org T: 028 7186 7700
    School Employer Connections is a registered charity - ref. NIC101570