Sheffield schools improving work links

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PUPILS will be sent on work experience designed to give them a more valuable glimpse of the world of work.

Sheffield Council’s learning and skills department is set to organise placements for pupils at Newfield, Forge Valley, Firth Park, Hinde House, Westfield, Silverdale, City schools and Sheffield Inclusion College in an overhaul of the existing scheme.

Youngsters aged 14 to 16 traditionally take a break from study during term-time to make their first foray into the world of work.

Pupils can specify which areas of work they prefer, but in the past placements have tended to be centred on giving a basic grasp of the difference between the classroom and the workplace, rather than having a vocational focus.

By taking the reins, bosses hope to include more businesses and ensure youngsters’ time is spent obtaining skills and giving them more employment opportunity once they leave school.

Every pupil will work with a designated work experience co-ordinator to match up employers with them.

The council is now appealing to businesses across the city to get involved.

They have already found 500 placements for children, but need more employers to sign up.

Edward Dawson, from the council’s work experience team, said: “What we’re hoping to develop better is the link between work experience and employment/apprenticeships after compulsory education.

“So we are trying to source more placements where there is potential for it to progress to part-time work, which could then lead to the offer of an apprenticeship or employment.

“The idea is to forge better links with small and medium-sized enterprises.”