Work experience back on offer, but often hybrid

Work experience back on offer, but often hybrid

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Around a third of work experience opportunities are hybrid, according to the ISE Shutterstock

Employers are beginning to offer work experience opportunities again after a break during the pandemic – but many of these are hybrid.

The Institute of Student Employers found that work experience opportunities were slashed by 40% during the pandemic. In 2022, however, 71% of ISE members are offering work experience, compared to 60% last year.

Although many are offering in-person opportunities, a third of programmes on offer are hybrid, while 4% are purely online.

Stephen Isherwood, ISE chief executive, said the return to work experience was “good news”.

“The lack of opportunities has made it tough for young people to develop the skills they need to start work. It’s also dampened their confidence,” he said.

“People who get work experience are more likely to do well in the jobs market as they leave education. But this year students also need to be aware that they may be asked to work in a hybrid way, particularly those on shorter schemes.”

He advised students that “all of the usual rules still apply” but that employers would still have expectations of participants when they are remote.

“Look smart, be punctual, turn the camera on and look engaged. It’s important to behave in the same professional way as you would if you were in person,” he added.

The ISE added that engagement with senior leaders as a means of developing graduates and school-leavers had dropped dramatically from 87% in 2021 to just 28% in 2022. It advised students to develop relationships proactively with senior leaders by following up after meetings or seeking a work mentor.

Earlier this year, the ISE reported that graduate job vacancies would likely increase in 2022 but warned that students should “not rest on their laurels” despite a candidate-driven market.

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