Shropshire bosses were today urged to support youngsters keen to gain experience in the workplace despite the increasing bureaucracy hampering many firms’ involvement.
County employment expert Paul Bennett said companies should not miss out on the opportunity to not only spot new talent but also to forge links with the community.
Mr Bennett, founder of Bennett’s Legal in Shrewsbury, admitted that many companies were now deterred from getting involved with “more hoops to jump through” if they wanted to sign up to help.
But he pointed out that the advantages to firms still outweighed any necessary extra effort in being part of a work experience project.
“It is that time of year when students will be out and about in the county getting a taste of what it is like in the workplace so it is a good time to think about getting involved,” said Mr Bennett.
“Very often it is now up to the student themselves to get accepted for a particular place although they are given a great deal of support. This requires initiative, effort and determination and these are very worthwhile skills to encourage. There are more hoops to jump through for companies but it is still worth it.
“Not only is there the chance to scout future talent, especially during a recession, but it helps to forge and strengthen links with the community and local schools which is an integral part of a successful business. And it can help employees to feel like they are contributing something positive and encourage better leadership skills and a sense of responsibility among workers. I believe work experience is worthwhile and something that the business community should support as much as it can.”
Mr Bennett also reminded bosses that they would need employers’ liability insurance and public liability insurance if they were to get involved in a work experience scheme.
“Those carrying out work experience should also be taken through the full induction process and treated like a full-time employee throughout the duration of their time with a company,” he said.
“There is plenty of support for businesses who have a genuine interest in helping a young person to experience what it is like in the workplace so it is worth all businesses seriously considering taking part.”