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Being Positive about Work Experience

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has published a guide for employers entitled Work Experience Placements That Work.  This is probably one of the first guides of its kind developed in consultation with employers to offer more structured information about work experience.  

The guide has been linked directly to the Youth Contract and offering opportunities to young people, rather than an all encompassing guide for any age of individual who may benefit from a placement.  The theory is the same, but CIPD has chosen to focus on youth, coinciding release of the guide with the official launch of the Youth Contract and the promise of increased work experience opportunities for young people.

As well as offering detailed guidance for employers on how to deliver quality work experience placements from recruitment and induction through to support and post placement options, the guide includes a quality charter that lists ten key principles:

  • Tailoring to person's needs 
  • Clarity about the role and how the young person will be supported, supervised and mentored
  • Managing expectations
  • Not using placements to fill vacancies
  • Commitment to helping the person learn and develop transferable skills, personal qualities and competencies 
  • Celebrating success
  • Feedback and advice
  • Expectations about how the young person should approach the placement
  • Working with the young person to support them in identifying opportunities
  • Commitment to integrating young people into the organisation

The guide has been produced in partnership with Jobcentre Plus to encourage more employers to deliver the kind of high-quality placements that many already offer. The move has been welcomed by Chris Grayling who has recently fought a valiant fight to highlight the positive aspects of work experience in the face of much criticism of government schemes.

3 April 2012


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