Posted: 12 July 2018
At Skills for Care, we encourage adult social care employers to offer work experience for people interested in working in the sector. It gives them the opportunity to make informed decisions about whether or not a career in social care is right for them.
Last week we took our own advice and invited sixth form student, Millie, to do work experience with our marketing team. She shared her experience with us and it has some valuable lessons for any employer wanting to offer meaningful work experience.
Before I came here I wasn’t sure what to expect or what a career in ‘marketing’ involves. But throughout the week I’ve been able to place the role of marketing in a wider context, and I’ve grown more aware about the different aspects of working in this role.
Rather than spending my week of work experience at Skills for Care simply making coffees and filing old documents, I’ve instead had the opportunity to experience the various aspects of working in a marketing role.
I’ve given feedback on the Think Care Careers website, helped pack up orders from the online bookshop, used Photoshop, did some research around social media and worked on my own case study (I must have done a good job on this one as they asked me to write another!).
This constant variety of activities has allowed me to see first-hand what this area of work involves, and the importance of marketing in relation to the wider sector. It’s allowed me to understand how different elements and teams play a part in a project.
As well as the work, the friendly atmosphere of the team has made my experience here so positive. Every person I’ve spoken to has been warm and welcoming, making sure I immediately feel comfortable. Simple offerings of making one another a cup of tea have highlighted to me the feeling of friendship within the team.
I imagine that it’s this friendly and positive atmosphere that allows for the best work to be done, as people feel willing to share their suggestions for improvement without fear of being made to feel as if their ideas are wrong. Even the ideas that are not chosen are valued, as they create opportunities for discussion and improvements from others and, from my experience, it’s this attitude that enables Skills for Care to work so well.
Whilst the details of the way in which the organisation works may still be somewhat complicated to me, from the outset it was easy to understand the key aims of Skills for Care. Within all of their different projects, there’s always the common goal of helping leaders and managers to recruit, develop and lead their staff. I was immediately told about this aim when I first arrived here and I’ve been able to constantly see it throughout my week.
I’m certain that this experience will benefit me greatly in the future and has been a truly enjoyable time.
We’re really pleased that Millie enjoyed her work experience, and there are some important things we can learn from her blog.
1. Make sure you tell students the aim and values of your organisation from the outset, so they can see where their role fits in.
2. Ensure students have meaningful jobs to do so they can really experience the role.
3. Make students feel welcome – something as simple as making a cup of tea can really help people warm to your organisation.
Our ‘Offering meaningful work experience’ guide can help you do this. Download it here.