Make it easier for people to get work experience

People who volunteer or request to do work experience at a company should be able to do so quickly and easily rather than being subject to normal employment laws.

Why does this idea matter?

I work in Higher Education and recently I met a woman who was really keen to gain work experience in my field; she was offering to work for us for free one day a week in exchange for learning some new skills and keeping herself busy in between her freelance work. You'd think this would be dead easy, right? I have three spare desks and computers within spitting distance, she should just have been able to come in and switch on. Guess what? The rules and regulations we would have had to conform to in order to facilitate such an arrangement were so extensive the company decided it wasn't worth our while. So we missed out on having a competent, bright and motivated addition to the team, and she missed out on the work experience she needed to get paid work in the field.

I agree that it is important to have structures in place in order to protect people and businesses from exploitation, etc – but work experience (and volunteering) is so valuable, there shouldn't be so many barriers!

1 Comment on Make it easier for people to get work experience

  1. Michael Byrne | 18/05/2011 at 3:09 pm | Reply

    Its madness how difficult it is to volunteer or even get paid work. I have done both paid and voluntary work in museums and it is mostly straight forward. Unfortunately museums have little money to pay people in the UK now. Why doesn’t every company/work place do voluntary work and then after a period they can employ people properly. The endless job interviews, applications forms and C.V’s put most people off employment. And yet most people complain about people not getting jobs. Make it easier to get jobs and there would be more in employment! Or a least do job trials and voluntary/work experience as trials for 6 months or a year and then people are guarenteed employment. Yes there should be rules to protect people who are volunteering but not so bad it stiffles creativity. Isn’t a lot of work common sense. Or am I just mad or stupid? Often it takes some people to get used to an environment longer than others. Some are more out going than others. The whole system to me makes no sense

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