A modern take on work experience

We all remember our work experience days – for many of us, our bright eyed and bushy tailed attitude was quickly extinguished after being left to languish in the corner.

But times are changing, and a new program endeavours to leave the old days of work experience firmly in the past.

Businesses are being urged to reshape work experience programs with a new model that better meets the needs of both businesses and young workers – namely, by injecting a healthy dose of inspiration.

Launched in Sydney this morning, Work Inspiration is an employer-led campaign jointly run by the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA), The Smith Family and NAB, with the aim of casting the spotlight on work experience initiatives to ensure that a young person’s first taste of work is meaningful and inspiring.

“Work experience is the first time a young person will be exposed to a workplace in an industry they are interested in,” Jan Owen, CEO of FYA said. “Work Inspiration is a platform for employers to provide young people with a genuine and meaningful experience of work, linking what they learn in the classroom to the working world,” she added.

The free initiative works by providing support to assist businesses in tailoring their Work Inspiration program to suit the needs of their organisation. From a one-day intensive, to a four-week pre-employability program, quality work experience can be offered in a variety of ways.

“Work Inspiration helps Australia’s younger generation transition into the real working world,” Owen said. “We hope this program will inspire students by raising aspirations and broadening their perspective of future career goals.”

Offering better quality work experience programs has tangible benefits to business too.

Paula Benson, general manager of corporate responsibility at NAB said offering work placement opportunities to young people aids in employee development and engagement, increasing diversity and talent, and improving community engagement.

Dr Lisa O’Brien, CEO of The Smith Family said positive work experiences can change a disadvantaged young person’s life in particular.

“The Smith Family links disadvantaged young people with opportunities that many would not ordinarily have. Work Inspiration gives students a much-needed hand up by giving them direct work place experiences, allowing them to understand and make better choices about what they need to study to enter their chosen field,” O’Brien said.

For more information or to register your business, click here.

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