Leading businesses from across Oxfordshire were celebrating earlier today (11 July), as dozens of organisations were recognised for their commitment to inspiring teenagers at the inaugural Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) Skills Work Experience Celebration Breakfast.
The event – which took place at Unipart House in Oxford – saw around 40 guests attend, each receiving a special certificate and a new ‘Work Experience Employer’ logo.
It now means individual businesses will be able to demonstrate that they are an employer committed to setting-up ‘meaningful work experience opportunities’.
According to recent research by the Education and Employers Taskforce, encounters with employers are crucial in helping to bring the ‘world of work’ to life for young people.
The research shows that a young person – who has four or more encounters with an employer – is 86 per cent less likely to be unemployed, or not be in education or training and can earn up to 18 per cent more during their career.
‘Meaningful work experience’ helps young people to gain employability skills, as well as allowing them to understand the many opportunities available through local employers, across a variety of sectors.
There are benefits to businesses too. Work experience can help companies to develop their talent pipeline, provide development opportunities for existing staff and also see fresh ideas introduced to an organisation.
Sally Andreou – Skills Hub Manager at OxLEP – said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to say thank you to the businesses that work with us to offer meaningful work experience placements.
“Thousands of young people across Oxfordshire have a better understanding of the world of work as a result of these placements and we would love even more businesses to get involved – it’s easy to do and we are here to support you every step of the way.”
OxLEP Skills say they are keen to encourage employers of all sizes and sectors to offer work experience placements, giving young people across Oxfordshire the opportunity to get a taste of work.
They have produced a number of resources – including a new handbook for employers and a series of videos – to showcase the benefits of work experience to both young people and employers.