It's not just for school and college students
According to Parliamentary reports, there were 631,000 young people aged 16-24 across the UK who were unemployed at the start of this year. With more and more options available (including further education, apprenticeships and full-time work), we look at how work experience can help provide a much needed confidence boost and sense of direction.
Brandon is 19 and recently spent a week within Nationwide's resourcing team, following a recommendation from an existing Nationwide employee.Read more
Pictured: Brandon and Nationwide Resourcing Consultant David.
“I’ve been in a wheelchair all my life, and up until I did my work experience at Nationwide I was worried that I’d never have a job. My week in Resourcing went really well, and I got to do a variety of things, including going to meetings and talking to people from other firms. I also learned how to set up online tests for candidates that were hoping to get a job at Nationwide, and helped find external people who might want to work here.”
While the build up to a work experience placement can be daunting, it's important that candidates are made to feel comfortable to get real value from the week.
“The team made me feel very welcome, answering any questions that I had. I found the head office a bit daunting to start with, but as the week went on I was able to navigate round easily.”
How can work experience help?
It's important to approach work experience as an opportunity in itself, rather than just an obligatory stepping stone to build up your CV. While a good work experience placement may help increase your appeal to an employer, it could also help boost your confidence longer term:
“Looking back, the best advice I could give myself would be to believe in myself, that I’m capable of getting a job, and that not everything is as scary as it looks the first time! You just have to get used to it.”
What options are there after work experience?
Remember- work experience won't guarantee you a permanent role at a company (to make sure everyone has a fair chance and the recruitment process isn't discriminatory you'll still need to go through the same application process as other candidates).
It can lead to other opportunities though, and it will help set you apart from other candidates:
“I’m now looking for a full-time job, hopefully in resourcing. In the meantime I’d like to do another week of work experience as I had such a great time. I’d highly recommend work experience at Nationwide to anyone.”Read less