As part of their work campaigning for young people in Worcestershire, the Worcestershire Youth Parliament has called for better work experience.
Their call has been heard by Worcestershire County Council and Youth cabinet has been involved helping develop the Connecting Schools and Business Programme. This has resulted in a new and innovative way of brokering work placements between businesses and young people.
Until recently, schools have been required to include work experience as part the national curriculum, however this has now changed and in many schools across Worcestershire it is now up to young people and their parents to take the initiative and organise a placement.
Youth Parliament members have identified the value and importance of work experience in helping develop both key sills needed in the workplace and helping inform young people to make good choices about their future.
The Connecting Schools and Businesses Programme has developed a website www.worcestershireskillscentral.co.uk that enables young people to sign up and search for work experience. This is available either through school or independently at home. The emphasis is very much on taking a professional approach towards placements, where businesses offer quality experiences and students are expected to treat it like a proper job.
A spokesperson for Worcestershire Youth Cabinet said: "We want work experience to be accessible and relevant for all, so that young people can develop the skills they need to make informed decisions about their future careers."
Simon Geraghty, Cabinet member for Economy, Skills and Infrastructure added: "We have identified the importance of a highly skilled and educated work force in building and sustaining a local economy that can be a world leader, a World Class Worcestershire. Key to this is ensuring our young people are equipped with all the information they need to make choices about their future direction of study and the industry and careers they want to work in. Of course we want them to choose Worcestershire; we want them to choose us."
For further information please visit www.worcestershireskillscentral.co.uk.