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How to plan an effective work experience programme
Running a work experience programme is a great way to introduce young talent to your business and industry, as well as give them a taster into what it would be like to work for you. This is a unique opportunity to leave a great impression on potential future hires. It also allows you a chance to meet and work with budding professionals who are eager to learn more about their career opportunities available to them.
So, how can you plan an effective work experience programme, and what can you do to make sure that you get the most out of your work experience team member?
Make your work experience staff feel welcome
When welcoming work experience staff to your organisation, it is important to keep in mind that it may be their first time working in this type of environment. Therefore, you can expect that they would feel nervous, particularly in the first couple of days. Making them feel included is crucial if you want to get the best out of them during their time with you. Here are some tips on how to make your work experience professional feel welcome:
- A team or group breakfast on their first or second day, so they can meet the wider team.
- Show them where the nearest places to get lunch are, and potentially organise someone for them to sit with during lunch.
- Set up induction meetings with the key people that they will be working with, so that they can tell them about their roles and responsibilities and talk through what to expect.
- Plan regular catch-ups with your new team member, so that you can check to see that they are happy and understand their responsibilities.
Build a list of tasks and responsibilities
If someone approaches you, or you are looking to host professionals for work experience, then you should have a clear idea of their roles and responsibilities. Work experience should be an opportunity for people to get involved with working life and truly embed themselves into your organisation. Here are some different ways to ensure that your work experience team member is gaining insight and new skills across your business:
- Team them up with different people in the business. That way, they will be able to better understand what each team does and have a truly enriching experience with you.
- Involve them in important tasks, but don’t put them in a position that they have to make important business decisions. Have them checking over work and learning what you do, and why you do it as a business.
- Spreadsheets, social posting, reception tasks, or note-taking are all great tasks that someone in work experience can do, whilst learning about your business functions.
- It is also important to include these individuals in meeting situations, so they can see how people talk about their responsibilities, and they can feel involved with any projects that you have on at any given time.
Measure the success of your team member
Measuring success and offering your new hire the opportunity to learn and develop during their time with you will make their work experience placement beneficial. It’s important to ensure that your new team member has a structured induction process that will give them a clear outline of what they are learning during their time with you. That way, they will be able to keep track of the skills they have gained and will be able to list this in their CV and discuss them in any future interviews.
Know your legal obligations
Depending on your business structure and the type of products and services that your offer, the legal requirements for employing work experience students or professionals can vary. In terms of health and safety and the measures that you have to take, you do not have to conduct an additional risk assessment to hire under 18s to conduct work experience with you. If your insurance policy is taken out with a company that is a member of the Association of British Insurers, your liability insurance policy means that you don’t need to have any additional insurance to facilitate work experience staff.
If you are looking for talent to bring in for work experience, you can advertise your opportunities with Page Talent. Sign up to use our free advertising platform here.