A Shropshire HR consultant yesterday urged people to offer work placements to those from overseas in order to showcase what Shropshire has to offer and to help reduce the skills gap faced by many industries.
Níamh Kelly, Director of The HR Department Shropshire, welcomed her first work experience student Róisín McGuinness from Ireland.
Ms Kelly said the education system in Ireland allowed students to enjoy a full transition year whereby they can take that academic year to experience different industries and learn about the world of work. The students also enjoy extra curricular activities, volunteering and personal and physical achievements.
Róisín, 16, from Dublin, said she really enjoyed her week in the county and it had given her a real insight into the HR industry. She is also completing her GAISCE Presidents Award which is the equivalent of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
Róisín is enjoying athletics as her physical recreation activity and playing the piano as her personal skill and is also a talented GAA player back at home.
“I’ve loved my work placement here in Shropshire with The HR Department. This has given me the chance to experience HR but also so much more – I can’t believe all of the different things we have covered in a week.
“It has been really interesting talking to people who run their own businesses; experiencing networking where I did my first 60 second pitch and also shadowing Níamh in client meetings which took us from offices to farm yards!
“I’ve seen how a grievance meeting runs, how important contracts are and also enjoyed a meeting about flexible working requests.
“But then on another day we were at a shopping extravaganza where I enjoyed finding out about event organisation and fundraising.
“It’s been brilliant to live and work in such a beautiful area – my friends who have stayed back home will be very jealous.”
Ms Kelly, who is also a Shropshire Enterprise Advisor and guest lecturer at the Shrewsbury Colleges Group as part of the higher national diploma in business, said: “Róisín has really thrown herself into her work experience.
“Her confidence has grown through the week and she has explored different careers as we have met so many different people.
“There’s no doubt about it – the wonderful business community of Shropshire has certainly inspired her.
“If we can show young people what a fantastic place Shropshire is to both live and work when they are so young, then it might stop people who have grown up here moving elsewhere and encourage others to move in.
“As a business community we can help these young people, whilst at the same time plan for the future and reduce the skills gap which is happening in so many different industries.
“I would ask next time a business owner gets a request from someone wanting a work experience placement – just give it a second thought – they will remember you and hopefully want to work for you in the future.”