As seen from the statistics across the nation, students in the post-Covid climate need help to find places to do work experience. Work experience is essential for students as it gives them knowledge and the basis of skills to pursue the subject they are dedicated to, and it helps students get into top universities. According to the Sutton Trust, during the Higher Education Access Network Programme, applicants were encouraged to scrutinise a work experience placement in depth. “Analysis showed that all the treated students received an offer from a Russell Group university, versus 73% in a control group”. Given the differences between the groups, those with work experience are much more likely to get an offer from their selected universities. Also, research has shown that those from the most deprived backgrounds have less access to work experience. This inequality begs why there is no system to help such a large and significant part of our society, which will eventually make up the workforce. That is why I propose two fundamental methods to help the issue, the School-Community Integration (SCI), to directly help students across the nation with work experience, and the Integrated Business Platform (IBP) to help students find jobs and internships in their community very quickly.
SCI, School-Community Integration, is a system where schools and services in a local area are encouraged to form ties. These ties include getting students into apprenticeship programmes with the tied business/ public service facility. This would greatly help the students gain work experience in their chosen field, preparing them for the future. Such a system would be built into school curriculums to ensure that students have protected time to develop their skills by more practical means in these fields. Such examples of services might be in the field of medicine. It is difficult for students who want to pursue medicine to find appropriate work experience, which often is crucial for applications. By forming links with local GP’s, Pharmacists and Hospitals, the students and the school will find an abundance of workplaces. This applies to the field of engineering as well. It is challenging to get work experience in engineering as the local engineering businesses are often less visible to the public, primarily located outside the city or in an office building. This way, students will be able to work in the engineering industry, allowing them to obtain some critical skills related to work and the business sector that they can bring to the university.
Not only will this help students get quality work experience in many sectors but also businesses and public services to easily find workers. Due to this being a primarily work-experience-related programme, the students will not be looking for a high wage and thus will be willing to work for minimum wage for their age group. This programme will also allow businesses to advertise themselves. This may come in the form of giving talks and organising workshops to help further students in their tied schools, which will boost the business’s reputation and visibility within the community.
It is not easy for students at all levels to find a suitable workplace that can give them work experience and wages to help them and their future. The Students may look for specific criteria such as the offered rate, working hours, type of work and location of the work. Traditionally the student would need to search for an opportunity to work across many different websites that take a long time to sign up for and mostly only show some places with an available position. Students even have to visit many smaller businesses physically. However, with the proposed application, IBP (Integrated Business Platform), this process will be made accessible. The student’s details, academic backgrounds, grades and the universities they are applying for will be kept in the program’s database. The student will provide where they live, the work/work experience they are looking for, and their parameters for work, e.g. the hours they are looking for or the distance range that they are willing to travel to work for, together with the stored information. The program would then eliminate the businesses that don’t meet the student’s criteria. Students can then write a general application letter for all available businesses or (if they choose to) can write multiple and select which applications go to which businesses. Each company would then have to consider the application and either accept or reject the student.
This program could be advertised in schools and encouraged by the government for all businesses and even the public sector. If almost all students start using this program, companies will also be more inclined to use it to be able to find students to hire. Thus a popular and nationwide platform which is student friendly will be established, supporting all students across the UK and allowing them to get help in their academic careers.
In conclusion, the SCI and IBP will be ideal for implementation.
SCI and IBP are both cost friendly in promoting and organising
SCI is helpful for students to find easy work experience and even some jobs
SCI would help local businesses to find dedicated workers
SCI can help schools get supported by businesses as they will deliver workshops and lectures
SCI will help local businesses build up a positive reputation
IBP is user-friendly and works to help students reach their ideal jobs
If promoted by schools, IBP could become the most used platform for students to find employment.
IBP makes applications easy and convenient by integrating all business opportunities under a single app so that a single application is all that’s needed
IBP will help all businesses to find workers across the nation.