In addition to traditional school placements of one or two weeks, this year Suffolk County Council has introduced other opportunities and inputs into schools, colleges and universities.
A six week PATH programme at West Suffolk College working with students with moderate learning difficulties and physical disabilities, leading to a structured work experience programme where students gained work experience in a range of roles.
A four day work experience challenge piloted in March 2014. Application was by CV, selecting a set challenge linked to the curriculum.
A three day work experience challenge within various services developed and led by each intern this summer.
Feedback from the Prince's Trust:
"When I first met Jane just 2 months ago she lacked confidence and I began meeting to work on her self esteem and look at the possibility of her entering employment in her chosen field of childcare
I encouraged Jane to apply (to the Aspire to Rise High Work experience programme) as this would provide her with the opportunity to experience a workplace setting, gain employability skills, meet other motivated young people, increase self confidence.
Jane was successful in gaining a place and attended every day of the programme. This was not easy for Jane due to her lack of confidence - but with support from the SCC staff, Jane completed the programme. On the final day, Jane and her team gave a presentation to a panel of professionals, watched by the other attendees. Jane was asked how she felt now the programme had ended - her reply was that she felt 'proud.
As a direct result of the programme, Jane was offered a meeting with a SCC professional who recruits within the child care sector. Supporting Jane at this meeting allowed me to see how much the programme had boosted her self belief. The advice given was immeasurable and gave Jane some very relevant and vital advice prior to interviewing for a childcare apprenticeship.
At interview it was noted how impressive Jane's CV looked with the SCC Rising High programme featured. Jane was successful at interview (7 other young people had applied) and started the 2 year apprenticeship last week.
The positive experience of the Rising High programme had a direct impact on Jane's ability to access this apprenticeship opportunity as well as overcome the barriers she was facing previously. Jane describes her new career as 'amazing!"
Outreach Executive working with Jane
Names have been changed for anonymity