College work placement team on a mission
21 February 2017
Wakefield College’s newly appointed Work Placement team is on a mission to bring students and the region’s businesses closer together.
With many employers stating that young people entering the labour market lack the necessary skills and experience to make the leap to the world of work, the new team are aiming to change this perception by getting students structured work experience with employers across the District.
Placements can be flexible to meet employers’ needs. Options include week blocks or more regular patterns of one or two days per week for long or short-term placements.
One of the first students to secure a work placement with the new team is ICT student Liam Benfield who is spending one day a week with Normanton Town Council as a clerical assistant. Liam’s duties include filing, photocopying, franking and collating of information.
Commenting on his experience so far, Liam said:
“I have taken on the work placement to gain office administration and customer service experience in a real working environment. I wish it was longer hours so I can get more experience and complete more tasks to help out the admin team.”
Donna Johnston, Town Clerk at Normanton Town Hall said,
“We feel that experience is vital in the jobs market and we hope that we can offer a wide range of real life situations and experiences that challenge a young person and develop their skills. Liam is a very pleasant in the office and is willing to undertake a variety of jobs.”
Wakefield College, Work Placement Coordinator, Tony Jackson added:
“We’ve been offering work experience placements for a number of years which have led to apprenticeships for a number of our students. Young people play a vital part of any employer’s recruitment strategy. We have found the students to be fully aware of what they want to do. Employers help them to grow in confidence and gain essential skills to get into and stay in employment.”
Clare Allcock, Executive Director Student Experience at Wakefield College, said:
“We have a diverse range of courses that address the needs of local communities and local businesses. We believe that by offering young people placement opportunities we are making a positive contribution to closing the skills and employment gaps for people living in the Wakefield District and beyond.
“We think that once a business has found a student and has given them experience of working in their organisation, it will make employing them much easier, and will enable our businesses to plan for the future with greater certainty.”
The College is home to more than 3400 full-time learners all looking to progress onto employment, apprenticeships or higher education.
Local businesses interested in getting involved with taking placement are urged to contact the Wakefield College Work Placement team on 01924 789416.