Businesses urged to welcome teenagers of the district

A teenager has called on businesses to offer more work experience placements to young people.

Melissa Parsons has just completed a week’s work experience placement with Malvern Hills District Council as an Economic Development Assistant.

The 15-year-old Hanley Castle High School student, spent the week helping the council’s Economic Development team to plan a campaign promoting apprenticeships, graduate placements and work experience.

She was involved in a variety of hands-on activities from scheduling, researching and managing Twitter to measuring Facebook analytics and preparing press releases, including this one which is Melissa’s first published work.

Schools are no longer legally required to provide work experience but all high schools in Malvern still run a two week work experience programme for their students.

However, there is often a lot of stress and difficulty amongst teenagers, in finding work placements.

Melissa said: “I know from experience how challenging it can be to find a suitable and enjoyable work experience placement, especially when you have yet to decide on what to do with your future.

“My time at MHDC has allowed me to explore a whole variety of careers and offered me an insight into the working world. I’d urge as many businesses as possible to offer work experience placements to help inspire young people who will be their workforce of the future.”

Melissa found her placement through the Worcestershire Skills Central website, which is funded by Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and manged by Worcestershire County Council under its Connecting Schools and Business programme.

The service is free and allows businesses to find suitable students by advertising placements on the site. Full support is offered to companies during the placement and there is no charge if workplaces need to be assessed for health and safety.

Malvern Hills District Council is committed to improving links between businesses and schools and as part of its new five year plan has an ambition to create at least 100 new work experience placements.

Cllr Phil Grove, Leader of Malvern Hills District Council, said: “We offer work experience placements to our young people as we believe it is beneficial to us, the employer and the student. We are able to hear the voice of a young, fresh mind, which can help us to understand what we need to do to capture the attention of young people in the district through our work.

“I would strongly urge other businesses to offer work experience placements and to take advantage of the Worcestershire Skills Central website.”