"Forum warns Government over plans to ditch school work experience"
Now, I don't usually get very political on this blog, but I am siding with the Forum on this one. Apparently, the Government has proposed to cut compulsory work experience and its funding in schools, and I really do not see what this will achieve?
I did work experience at Barratts Shoes when I was 15 (in Year 10 at secondary school) and I feel it did me the world of good on so many levels. I was incredibly shy at school, and I really don't know why, but I've always been the sort of person to apply myself to whatever I do, so when I chose this work experience I was incredibly nervous but ready to tackle it. My week consisted of dusting shelves, hoovering at the end of the day, collecting shoes from the stockroom, observing the sales staff and even had a go at selling shoes myself to the customers. All of the people were lovely and I was feeling quite sad when the time came for me to leave; I really felt like I had achieved something.
Then, to my delight, the manager asked if I would go back when I was 16 and work as a Saturday girl! I was so proud; not only had I completed something that seemed so nerve-wracking to me but I had been offered a job! So of course, I took it, returned when I was 16 and worked there for a very happy three and a half years before, unfortunately, the shop closed. My confidence really grew as I served more and more customers and faced more and more problems, and I truly valued my wages at the end of each month. I learned to balance my time between my college work and part-time job, and I just grew as a person. Best of all, I made some excellent friends that I still remain close with today.
And this is why I'm baffled as to why the Government would propose this? Surely, in an age were there are over 1 million unemployed young people, either because of lack of job opportunities or just laziness, a taste of what life is like after school can only be a good thing - what will inspire them after their GCSEs? It's hard enough trying to figure out what you want to do when you leave school, but just a week of work experience could give them an idea at least. And who knows where just one week could lead?...
School years come to an end so quickly, so how will these pupils know if they are ready for the working world? Ok, there are some young people who may take this on themselves and find their own work experience in the field they think they'd like to work in, but for others who may be shy, the government may be taking away a valuable lesson.
The Forum's Head of Campaigns, Jane Bennett, said: “Our training and skills panel research shows our members already believe young people in the UK are largely unprepared for the workplace. New starters frequently arrive with few or no basic skills, and need guidance on even simple things such as appropriate dress code and punctuality – the very basics of a work ethic. Business owners also frequently point out that young people are taught no first aid or health and safety skills, and together these types of inadequacies make them very resource intensive." (Taken from the press release.)
As I said, I don't usually get very political on this blog and I have yet to see the Government's reasoning for this, but I am interested to see what you all think. Maybe I have these thoughts because I happen to have had a very good experience; for me, this worked and I believe it can work for many others too.