There are lots of ways that you may be asked to get involved in helping young people understand the workplace, the opportunities available to them, and make a successful transition from education into the workplace.
Your future workforce is currently in education. Sharing your knowledge, experience and advice will inspire and inform their educational choices – helping them to develop the confidence to move into a role that is right for them – and be the right employee for you. Opportunities include helping with competitions (eg as a judge or team mentor), giving careers talk, participating in a careers fair, or providing one-to-one mentoring on a longer term basis.
Your input will ensure that teachers can share essential and up to date knowledge and skills in their lessons. You could help design a course or support a student project, give teachers the opportunity to find out about current industry practice by hosting a site visit, give a masterclass for a group of teachers, or even donate some equipment or workshop time.
Nothing beats hands-on experience for gaining an insight into working life. Opening your doors to young people is an opportunity to raise awareness and understanding of your organisation and industry, and help students transition into the workplace. And, if they enjoy the experience, you could have a future employee. Activities include hosting a workplace visit, one or two days' day job shadowing, or offering two weeks of work experience. Working with post-16 students could involve a longer ongoing placement opportunities, or taking on an intern, a long-term volunteer or an undergraduate for a year in industry.
Nobody knows your business like you do. Sharing your knowledge and expertise with government – both nationally and locally – or with the education institutions around you will help to influence what is taught so that it is relevant to your business. This is also a great opportunity to raise awareness of career opportunities and what is required to succeed in your industry. You could be a school or college governor, or get involved in helping design a course relevant to your business. Or you might contribute to employer panels that shape education and training nationally and/or locally.
Helping a young person learn whilst working within your business is a great way to develop a motivated, skilled, and qualified workforce. Apprenticeships, Traineeships and Employment Support Programmes offer real job experience while studying for a formal qualification, usually at a local college or training centre for up to a day every week. However, you can adapt these training programmes to meet the needs of your organisation filling gaps within your workforce skillset and helping your business grow. The length of these programmes varies, as do the requirements to pay the minimum wage.