Last week we hosted 5 of our 15-year-old participants for work experience. Unfortunately this is not the reality for many young people.
A recent article from Further Education highlights various studies to demonstrate the need for more work experience in the UK education system. The article cites a study from the Education and Employers charity called “Making the Grade“, which reported that nine out of 10 secondary school teachers say that work experience and employer related activities can help students with exams. It also states that students who experience four or more employer engagements are seven times less likely to become a NEET (a young person not in education, employment or training). At present only around half of schools offer a majority of students meaningful experiences outside of the classroom by year 12. As a result, finding work opportunities falls on parents, something that can be a real challenge.
FBB exists to give young people from disadvantaged backgrounds the help they need to reach their full potential, with work experience being an important aspect of their development. Throughout their time at FBB, work experience students complete various tasks while being mentored by FBB staff members in the process. In addition to planning football sessions, the students went out and taught to young people in lessons.
“It’s different from being a participant and it’s helped me massively because as a participant you’re the one that gets taught, but if you’re doing work experience you’re the one teaching. So it’s like you swap roles. Now I feel more confident to speak to younger people,” said Luke, 15-years-old, and an FBB participant for three years.
In addition to coaching, Luke and his teammates helped FBB with video and digital media. They took time to brainstorm social media ideas, write scripts and finalise filming schedules. One of them, Cordell, 15-years-old, recognised the important transition from being a student to being given more responsibility.
“If you’re a student, you’re often messing around, but if you’re coaching people you have to be serious about it.” The others agreed.
Though only two weeks of work experience, massive strides could be seen from the young men at FBB. They went from quietly introducing themselves to an office full of their coach mentors to working side by side with them in a productive and educational manner. We look forward to seeing their continued development, whilst also being able to provide more of these opportunities to others in the future.