Bolton College is piloting a pioneering new work experience scheme, which will help prepare 16 to 19-year-olds for employment.
Working in partnership with the Department for Education, the college is delivering an innovative work experience model to students.
Over 200 people are already involved in the scheme, taking advantage of placements at local nurseries, schools, care homes, restaurants, hotels and beauty salons, as well as businesses, such as Bolton at Home, Bolton Wanderers Football Club, Serco Leisure Centres and Bolton Council.
Sarah Poole-Sutherland, community and partner engagement development manager at Bolton Community Leisure Trust, said: “Partnering with Bolton College’s placement programme has enabled us to provide students with the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the world of work.
“Five students studying sport and leisure are currently undertaking placements at our facilities, working alongside industry instructors and experiencing the job they are training for at the College. We’re looking forward to widening the scope of opportunities for other students, who are studying in areas such as business and customer service.”
The work experience model is based on the theory that older age groups are more likely to benefit from placements than younger students, who have traditionally been involved in such programmes. Employers interview a selection of students and choose the most suitable for the work experience role, which also gives learners the opportunity to gain real interview experience and feedback.
Marie Gilluley, Principal of Bolton College, said: “The pilot scheme enables us to try new and innovative ways of enhancing work experience and employability within our curriculum. In addition to placements at local businesses, we have also been organising work-related activities, which have been designed to aid students with their career goals.”
This week, forty students took part in an employability afternoon at Bolton College, where they had the opportunity to attend workshops with local employers. The students listened to talks from AFG Law and The Academy Group, before taking part in interview training and a National Careers Service workshop.
The Department for Education has invested £4.5 million into the scheme, which is being piloted by 25 colleges across the UK. The outcome of the pilot will help to shape the way the department supports learning providers in enhancing their students’ employment prospects.
For more information about Bolton College, please visit: www.boltoncollege.ac.uk/key-area/4/apprentices.