Employer ‘ask’

To support young people during COVID-19 recovery

We’ve inviting employers to help young people gain an insight into the world of work. Below are some initial suggestions of how businesses can help build back a better Salford. If you’d like to find out more, or simply share some digital resources with our young people, please see below and/or contact Sarah Scanlan in our Skills and Work team on email at sarah.scanlan@salford.gov.uk

Work shadowing/placements/apprentices

  • Providing opportunities to come into your business (once guidelines allow) is crucial. Some young people have never stepped into a business environment before and do not always know the expected behaviours of this setting. 
  • A placement or shadowing opportunity could be individual or for a small group.
  • This could last a few hours, up to a full week, or one day per week for a longer period.

Meet the sector/question and answer

  • Many young people have a limited view of the world of work due to their lack of experience so providing them with a broader view is important.
  • This is an opportunity to provide key information about your sector, how it’s developing and what skills, attitudes and behaviours you look for in new employees/apprentices.
  • Where possible it’s useful to relate specific job roles and the wider industry to what they may have learnt at school such as how does maths play a key role, or Art?
  • If it’s a live session give young people the opportunity to ask questions
  • If it’s recorded you could offer to take questions after the session by email.

Meet the apprentice (ex-apprentices)

Young people love to hear from younger staff who they can relate to more easily (sometimes!), or from those who have perhaps started in an entry level role and have moved up the ‘ladder’.

It would involve the apprentice sharing their journey from leaving school/college and the step into their apprenticeship and any fears or concerns they had. Giving some real examples such as ‘what it was like on the first day’ can have real impact and ease some of their worries.

This could be a five to ten minute pre-recorded video or a live session, or once restrictions allow a face to face session.

Mock interviews

Provide a ten to 20 interview with a young person so they can practice their skills.  Young people have often never had this type of experience so will be daunted by it, so providing a supportive session so they do not feel embarrassed but are supported to consider what type of answers they may give.

Curriculum sessions

Teachers are delivering more live and pre-recorded lessons and going forward in the short-term schools and colleges are unlikely to be able to accept visitors into the building. They would welcome the opportunity to liaise with businesses about how industry could deliver some pre-recorded or live sessions to support specific lessons/modules. This will act as an enhancement to the curriculum and will allow young people to see how the theory links to the world of work. Teachers can provide guidance on how to do this easily.

Company tour

Provide a tour around your organisation, showing young people:

  • the key areas of the business so they can see the breadth of departments involved in its running.
  • Try to pay specific attention to any of the more ‘exciting’ areas, especially where they may be practical.
  • Allow them to ‘meet’ your colleagues whilst they work
  • Show them the canteen and break areas

Career journeys

Similar to the ‘meet the apprentice’ young people enjoy hearing from others about how they have progressed between different roles and across organisations. It is important that young people understand that it is quite normal to move between companies throughout their careers and how this supports career development.

We suggest starting the discussion about your life at school, what were your worries/concerns when leaving school and making decisions etc and then how you moved from school into further education and employment. Many young people feel concerned that they need to know what role they will do ‘forever’ so anything you can mention about changing your mind, keep learning and developing is useful.

Virtual internships/work experience

Schools are unlikely to be able to provide any real workplace experience over the coming months and into next calendar year, so providing this virtually could be part of the solution. This could include a full tour of each department, where they meet specific staff within teams, who provide an overview of their role and the company. It could be done over a few days/week or even a few weeks, which provides more flexibility. Small tasks/challenges could be given out and then young people can provide their solutions/answers. Support would be given by school teachers to help shape the experience for a specific target group.

One to one mentoring

Some young people who have specific career ideas/job roles in mind or those who are very unsure, would equally benefit from having one to one discussions with people from the world of work. Teachers/careers advisers would identify specific young people and would provide an overview of the young person with any specific conversations they think would be useful to have. These could vary in frequency and length depending on your capacity and could be done through various digital platforms as agreed by the school.

e-learning offer (similar to Salford Futures access)

Do you have a series of online modules that new staff complete during their induction phase that might be suitable for young people to complete? These should give a young person an overview of the importance of health and safety and perhaps equality and diversity. Young people could complete these at home or in school and could be done in collaboration as a class activity or individually.

Financial support for devices/connectivity

Many young people and schools are still lacking a serious amount of digital devices and connectivity. If you are able to contribute to this in any way then please contact sarah.scanlan@salford.gov.uk who can put you in touch with specific schools.

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