Top work experience tips for students from Oxfordshire businesses
Leading Oxfordshire companies have come together to write an open letter to school students about to embark on a work experience placement, giving them tips on how to get the best out of it and make a good impression at their host employer. The guidance has been produced on behalf of 51 businesses, all members of Oxfordshire Community Foundation’s responsible business group Reciprocate.
Download the letter here.
The short letter has been put together by companies with many years’ experience of offering placements to students in years 10 and 11 of secondary school and gives practical advice on professional standards of behaviour, preparedness and the sorts of things it might be useful to reflect on before and after the placement. It has been sent to schools across Oxfordshireto share with their students.
The businesses suggest that students keep “six ‘p’s” in mind when taking part in their work experience placement:
1. Be PROFESSIONAL
2. Be PREPARED
3. Be POLITE
4. PUT yourself out there
5. Be PRACTICAL
6. Take time to PONDER
Businesses in Oxfordshire, in common with the rest of the UK, report a significant skills gap and difficulty filling posts. With an ageing population, this problem is set to worsen if the young people who form the future workforce are not equipped with workplace skills. Reciprocate members recognise that giving young people experience that will inspire them to develop these practical skills is hugely important for the long term wellbeing of their business.
Pictured above are students from The Marlborough School in Woodstock taking part in work experience at Blenheim Palace - a key Reciprocate member who has taken the lead in producing the open letter, alongside construction company Beard and Oxfordshire Work Experience.
The group have also produced an eight-page best-practice handbook for other businesses on how to offer top-quality work experience placements.