'Work experience'...what do you think of when you hear that term? I think many of us can probably point to past experiences or perhaps even our own experience - of working in companies where this simply means having a young person spend a week at your place of work and having to find something for them to do which invariably ends up being some filing or sealing envelopes or going to get everyone's lunch order!
Although inevitably work experience can involve doing menial tasks, it is still very important as it's proven that young people are more likely to be successful in their job hunt if they have done some work experience placements.
Of course, what work experience is designed for is to gently introduce young people to the world of work. The young person gets an idea of what 'being at work' feels like and what skills they might need to thrive in the workplace.
Here at ITRM we are firmly committed to supporting the local schools in our area and we believe that work experience provides a win/win scenario for the young person, their school and for us.
Sue Thorpe, ITRM's Business Operations Manager explained further ''we're proud of our reputation as being a socially responsible organisation and we offer work experience placements to help school students and leavers with their journey into the workplace. To ensure students find their experience at ITRM of value, time is taken to understand the interests of every student, their aspirations, and educational background, so that a placement schedule can be developed to suit them. These placements are invaluable to the students as they tell us how it has built their confidence and shown them the importance of many workplace skills, especially teamwork and communication''.
The latest young person to spend a week with us is 15 year old Tze-Heen Chan from Bexley Grammar School who, if the impression he made on everyone at ITRM is anything to go by, looks set to enjoy a great future career.
Sue continued, ''we have really enjoyed having Tze-Heen with us this week as not only has he benefitted from this experience, but also the business has gained as he has been hands-on in supporting our engineers with some of the technology tasks, along with various other tasks throughout the company’'.
So has work experience at ITRM been a good experience for Tze-Heen? We'll let him have the final word. "we've had an enjoyable experience and it has been fun working here. I have learnt so much about the work environment and the way the company works, I have especially enjoyed learning how you put ideas into actions. I particularly enjoyed working with the ITRM engineers and the hands-on experience with setting up the laptops. This has been a great experience for me. Thank you''.