Recent research (from the Learning and Skills Council) has shown that good exam results are not enough to secure school leavers a job with good pay. Young people can earn an extra £1,000 a year in their first job if they have relevant work experience.
The survey, of more than 400 employers found that 90% said that relevant work experience was an important part of a CV and 13% said they would not interview a candidate without it.
Work experience can help develop skills in communication and team working. It also helps a young person decided if a work area is likely to be what they want.
It can be hard though to get this work experience, and the week long work experience via schools can be of variable benefit. I encourage the young people I work with to identify possible career paths and then to go and talk to people currently doing that sort of job. This will often lead on to either work shadowing or some part time/ short term work.