Work experience: it’s not so hard to give

Lena ConstantineEmployers want graduates with experience, but graduates can’t get that experience without a foot in the door. It’s the old chicken and egg scenario.

I’ve talked with many employers across a range of workplace development services, and they tell me they want:

  • educated people that understand how to behave in a workplace
  • workers that can adapt and fit into their workplaces without having to teach them the basics of appropriate professional behavior
  • to know that young people can apply knowledge gained through learning into real work contexts.

The good news is employers can actually be a part of the solution. Simply by offering opportunities for workplace exposure while young people are still studying, we can all future-proof the quality of our workforce.

Here’s four ways employers can be part of the solution:

  1. Offer work-experience placements to high school and TAFE students for blocks of time throughout the year.
  2. Take on a school-based trainee – either a year 11 or 12 student. This allows secondary students to work one or two days a week for an employer while they complete a Certificate II qualification as part of their Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE).
  3. Engage university students in a Work Integrated Learning placement. Some universities now offer a unit as part of a student’s degree to spend 100 to 150 hours to work on a project in a real work setting.
  4. Employ an apprentice or trainee. This allows you to employ a junior who will learn an occupation while attaining a qualification. This is a great way to build skills and pass on knowledge from your more experienced employees as a succession plan.

The benefit to employers of offering work exposure opportunities to young people include:

  • a resource that can work on a project that you just haven’t had time to get to
  • the opportunity to have a fresh set of eyes and views on how a problem could be solved
  • a development opportunity for your staff/team to supervise a young person in the workplace.

Offering opportunities for the next generation to gain experience is easy and you can get started today.

Lena Constantine is the Manager of a range of workforce development services at CCIWA.

You may also be interested in

Environmental approvals move to digital platform
Environmental approvals move to digital platform
Businesses requiring environmental approvals in WA will be able to work through a more streamlined digital process with the launch of the first phase of...
Read more »
Students gain skills, insight at economic forums
Students gain skills, insight at economic forums
Economics students from across the State gained skills that will help them in their studies and future careers during the Student Economic Forum 2022.
Read more »
State launches Commissioning Strategy for community services
State launches Commissioning Strategy for community services
The State Government has launched WA’s first State Commissioning Strategy for community services in a bid to deliver more efficient and effective services. 
Read more »