Darke & Taylor was celebrating alongside other leading businesses from across Oxfordshire, as dozens of organisations were recognised for their commitment to inspiring young people at the inaugural Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) Skills Work Experience Celebration Breakfast on 11th July 2019.
The event – which took place at Unipart House in Oxford – saw around 40 guests attend, each receiving a special certificate and a new ‘work experience employer’ logo. Individual businesses will now be able to demonstrate that they are an employer committed to providing meaningful work experience opportunities.
According to recent research by the Education and Employers Taskforce, encounters with employers are crucial in helping to bring the world of work to life for young people.
The research shows that a young person who has four or more encounters with an employer is 86 per cent less likely to be unemployed, or not be in education or training and can earn up to 18 per cent more during their career.
Meaningful work experience helps young people to gain employability skills, as well as allowing them to understand the many opportunities available through local employers, across a variety of sectors.
There are benefits to businesses too. Work experience can help companies to develop their talent pipeline, provide development opportunities for existing staff and see fresh ideas introduced to an organisation, whilst bringing the feel-good factor.
Darke & Taylor’s own Work Experience scheme is well established and oversubscribed every year. Many school students who come to do work experience at the company subsequently apply for an apprenticeship with a high success rate of joining the company and developing a well paid career.
Sally Andreou – Skills Hub Manager at OxLEP – said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to say thank you to the businesses that work with us to offer work experience placements. Thousands of young people across Oxfordshire have a better understanding of the world of work as a result and we would love even more businesses to get involved – it’s easy to do and we are here to support you every step of the way.”
OxLEP Skills are keen to encourage employers of all sizes and sectors to offer work experience placements, giving young people across Oxfordshire the opportunity to get a taste of work.
They have produced a number of resources – including a new handbook for employers and a series of videos – to showcase the benefits of work experience to both young people and employers.
To find out how OxLEP Skills can support businesses to offer a work experience placement, go to: www.oxfordshirelep.com/skills.