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Black Country Chamber: New Survey Reveals that Schools and Business See Work Experience as Key Way to Prepare Young People for Work, with a Focus on Under 16s

Martin Dudley outside head officeEarlier this month, the British Chambers of Commerce published the first part of its Business and Education Survey 2015.

The Survey results for the Black Country, completed by 107 education providers and businesses, reveal that 87% of business and 100% of school leaders agree that secondary schools should offer work experience to under 16s.

The requirement for secondary schools in England to offer work experience to under 16s was scrapped by the Government in September 2012.

Nearly three quarters of businesses (73%) in the Black Country think work experience is the best way to prepare young people for the world of work followed by volunteering (45%) and then team sports (30%). Work experience can also help businesses to identify talent, with 42% of firms reporting that engagement with schools helped them identify future employees.

However, just under half of businesses (47%) in the Black Country offer work experience for pre-16s, while 53% offer work experience to over 16s. Work experience for under 16s is important as it helps give young people an insight into different careers and the paths they may want to take before making subject choices or planning their future.

In response Martin Dudley, Managing Director of Thomas Dudley Ltd and Chair of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce Skills Group, said: “We support the British Chambers of Commerce drive for mandatory pre-16 work experience. However it does appear we have some work to do to help businesses see the value of partnering with providers of education and perhaps our careers fairs will help contribute to that. Partnerships need to be enduring, giving value to young people and businesses. Short term outputs and intermittent support does not help.

“We look forward to publishing the survey results on careers advice, school and business partnerships in November and December.”

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