It’s a question many people ask when they reach a milestone birthday or a turning point in their lives. For me, it was after a group of young students visited Red C.
Other than to listen to my mum, I’d advise my younger self to learn more about the world of work. When I was in school, I wasn’t as work-ready as I could’ve been, which led to preconceptions and assumptions of working.
It wasn’t until I reached University, when I learnt that the scary thing called work wasn’t so scary at all – dare I say, it was exciting!
I had the opportunity to take a year’s work experience at a small marketing agency: Red C. My placement year taught me a wide-range of skills and I gained a great deal personally. It opened the door to new opportunities that probably wouldn’t have been on my radar. And now I’m a full-time Copywriter at Red C and have seen first-hand how influential work experience can be for young people.
However, I’m not the first person to say this.
According to a 2015 survey conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses, ‘small businesses are vital partners in helping young people make a successful transition to work’ and ‘have an important role in changing young people’s perceptions of working’.
At Red C, we’re a firm believer in the benefits of work experience – not just to educate and develop skillsets, but the confidence it can give a young person.
Last year, we hosted a group of students from a local school. They gained an insight into agency life and learnt about the various roles at Red C – from what an Art Director does to the job of an Account Handler. With the support of Red C staff, they also had chance to come up with their own Christmas campaign. When both groups presented their ideas a month later, it was encouraging to see the impact that even a snapshot of agency life could have.
While the students are a few years off looking for a 9-to-5 job, with more young people choosing apprenticeships over degree education, we think it’s more important than ever for small businesses to build relationships with schools and colleges.
Like myself, many current employees started life at Red C on an apprenticeship or placement year. However, this shouldn’t be why small firms get involved in work experience schemes.
We enjoyed the chance to connect with a school in the local community Adrian Rowe, Chairman.
The chance to inspire young minds and give something back should be satisfaction enough. And if young people see your businesses as a great place to work in the future – that’s a bonus.