Brilliant Learning

Keisha Bellingy: Virtual work experience

Local employers step up to the challenge of virtual work experience.

The pandemic has altered the way we have all worked over the last year. This impact will continue as we all try to adapt to different ways of working.

Annually, the BEST Team (Business and Education Succeeding Together) supports approximately 1600 young people to access work experience. This opportunity disappeared last year, and future programmes will be shaped by the changes in the workplace. The BEST Team is part of Lifelong Learning and located in the Children’s Services Department.

A work experience placement is usually the first interaction that a young person has with the world of work and the BEST Team is determined that the service should continue for many years to come. The service is in its 28th year!

Wandsworth BEST has now delivered several virtual work experience workshops. The first virtual work experience workshop took place at the beginning of December 2020 and involved a group of students from St Francis Xavier College.

Simon Pollen from the council’s HR Team is pictured above delivering a session on how to construct the perfect CV!

It was a great success, and this was down to the commitment of all involved – students, tutors, several staff within the council and some highly committed local business and employers. The week was packed with different activities and talks from Fulham Football Club, South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust, Wandsworth Borough Council, RAPP (marketing and communications company), Barclays UK LifeSkills, Iqualtech (electronics), NOW TV and Sainsburys.

There are a lot of benefits to the students with virtual work experience and this includes the opportunity for students to speak to employers from a wide range of industries who also may not be based locally. It also boosts their confidence with the opportunity to ask the employers questions in real time.

The benefits to schools include spending a lot less time on arranging placements and using the experience to meet Gatsby benchmark 5 which is ‘encounters with employers and employees’.

If you are interested in being involved in future work experience activities or to find out more about the service, book a Head to Head below.

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If we have piqued your interest in Smart School Services, why not meet with our head team to see how we can work together. To arrange your Head to Head, or for any other enquiry, simply fill in the contact form and we’ll be in touch shortly.