Every year we work with many schools across Peterborough and now Rutland supporting their work experience programs, through database management, training, H&S and safeguarding duty of Care visits with employers. Last academic year we supported over 1600 students with their work placements.
This year was due to be the same but with more students as we have started supporting additional schools, but sadly due to the COVID-19 outbreak, for many students, or quite possibly all, work experience will not be a program they will get to be involved with. Students that were due to go out before Easter and shortly after have seen their schools close and many businesses across the country go on lock-down. The summer program is also looking very much likely to be cancelled as well as there is currently no dates in place for school returns and businesses to re-open.
We have been working closely with the schools and businesses over the past few weeks making sure that we can keep everyone updated as best as we can. Many businesses have said that they would love to still be involved with the work experience program once everything returns to some normality and that in theory the placements they offered and agreed to will still be available for the students. Considering the pressures employers are under at the moment these comments are very positive and we are very grateful.
So for the students who are missing out on this program and the experience it brings for them, is there anything that they could potentially get involved whilst learning from home that will offer some similar experiences of being out on a placement?
Yes there is.
Below is a link to a week long virtual work experience program starting on 18th May put together by the Scape Group based around STEM for year 10 students. Schools can register through the below link.
Class Of Your Own will provide the syllabus, learning resources and guidance for teachers, schools and students. The week will be based around a design challenge for teams of young people that will utilise the full breadth of the STEM subjects.
Learn Live will manage the broadcast and interactive online experience to engage the thousands of participants.
The scheme has been fully audited and will provide all participating young people who submit an entry at the end of the week with a Silver Industrial Cadets award and become part of the national Industrial Cadets accreditation network.
The Social Value Portal will monitor and report upon the social value generated throughout the whole initiative.
This is an excellent chance for students and schools to benefit from work experience in a virtual format during these unprecedented times and experience what is a valuable source of career learning and guidance.