Employers Being Urged To Support ""Lost Generation"" And Offer Work Experience To Youngsters

EMPLOYERS in Cambridgeshire are being encouraged to offer work experience to teenagers to help them through the recession. Fears of a lost generation of young people have been reported in the national media, because young people have been disproportio

EMPLOYERS in Cambridgeshire are being encouraged to offer work experience to teenagers to help them through the recession.

Fears of a 'lost generation' of young people have been reported in the national media, because young people have been disproportionately affected by the recession.

Something as simple as providing two weeks of work experience to a local teenager can have a big effect on their future, says the Connexions group, which organises work experience programmes.

Most students undertake a short period of unpaid work experience when they are 14 or 15 years old. The purpose of this is to provide them with an insight into the working world and possibly help identify the sort of work they might want to do in the future.

Similarly, targeted work experience (for one to three days a week over an extended period of time) can benefit students who find it hard to achieve in an academic environment. It can support the curriculum, improving the individual's achievement and motivation, developing their economic understanding and preparing them for leaving full time learning.

Connexions, part of Cambridgeshire County Council, offers young people information, advice and help with living, working and learning decisions and provides opportunities for personal development.

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Jude Tustian, work experience manager for Connexions, explains: "We are truly grateful to the many employers who provide work experience placements to Cambridgeshire students and very appreciative of the contribution this makes to increasing employability and raising achievement. The feedback from students is overwhelmingly positive with reports of extremely enjoyable and successful placements in a variety of different areas."

The Connexions work experience team visits employers who are interested in becoming involved in the scheme to ensure that the proposed placements are appropriate and safe for young people, and that the work and environment is suitable. Work experience co-ordinators can also support employers with advice and guidance on issues such as insurance and the school curriculum. A representative from the school will visit during the placement to check that both the student and employer are happy and of course to express the gratitude of the school for the employer's time and commitment.

INFO: If you are employer who would be able to provide a work experience placement, please contact Jude Tustian on 01223 729166 or 729165.

In partnership with the work experience team, the Connexions employer services team works with local businesses to identify job vacancies that might be suitable for teenagers. These are then promoted to young job seekers, free of charge, through the Connexions website www.youthoria.org and a weekly Vacancy Bulletin which goes out to schools and colleges.

If you have a vacancy that might be suitable for a 16 to 19 year old, or for more information, contact the Connexions employer services team on 01480 373575.

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