Coinciding with Responsible Business Week, a group of leading local companies including CRM, has written to school pupils about to embark on a work experience placement, giving them tips on how to get the best out of it and make a good impression at their host employer. The guidance has been published on behalf of 51 businesses, all members of the Reciprocate responsible business group.
The short letter has been put together by companies with many years’ experience of offering placements to pupils in years 10 and 11 of secondary school, and gives practical advice on professional standards of behaviour, preparedness, and the sorts of things it might be useful to reflect on before and after the placement. It has initially been sent to 19 schools across Oxfordshire, to share with 3,000 pupils due out on work experience in the coming three months. The letter will be sent to all remaining Oxfordshire schools for the next academic year.
The open letter can be found on the Reciprocate website, www.reciprocateox.org.
The businesses, which are all members of Oxfordshire Community Foundation’s responsible business group Reciprocate, suggest that school pupils keep “six ‘p’s” in mind when taking part in their work experience placement:
1. Be PROFESSIONAL
2. Be PREPARED
3. Be POLITE
4. PUT yourself out there
5. Be PRACTICAL
6. Take time to PONDER
Businesses in Oxfordshire, in common with the rest of the UK, report a significant skills gap and difficulty filling posts. With an ageing population, this problem is set to worsen if the young people who form the future workforce are not equipped with workplace skills. Reciprocate members recognise that giving young people experience that will inspire them to develop these practical skills is hugely important for the long-term wellbeing of their business.
Reciprocate businesses also aspire to making work experience more accessible to a wider and more diverse group of pupils. Accessing professional work experience can be a gateway to a better future for young people who do not have many choices, introducing them to networks and helping them to make more informed career choices about a wider range of industries than they might have considered before.
- Reciprocate is a group of businesses that are working together to improve the lives of people in Oxfordshire. Membership of Reciprocate enables companies to become more effective and strategic in the way they support their local community, and is an initiative of Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF).
- Reciprocate member companies believe that, by working together, sharing ideas and collaborating on projects, they can realise their good intentions through the power of many. There is no obligatory cost to joining, with members making an ‘impa