Businesses and young people back government work experience drive


More than 30 leading businesses and 12,000 young people will be at the forefront of boosting work experience for young people in the UK, under a new government campaign launched.

UK Employment Minister Priti Patel
UK Employment Minister Priti Patel

Two thirds of employers say that work experience is a crucial factor when hiring staff – more than those who prioritise academic qualifications – according to UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) research.

In a first of its kind, the government is launching the ‘WE can’ campaign, in which 84 Youth Ambassadors from Youth Employment UK (YEUK), will give advice on how others can set up their own work experience placements and make the most of their time in a business setting.

The government has also teamed up with industry body Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) as part of the new campaign to highlight the benefits of work experience.

Employment Minister Priti Patel said: Young people tell me they can’t get a job without work experience, but they can’t get work experience without a job.

That is why we are launching the ‘WE can’ campaign to give young people practical advice about making the most of their summer holidays – and beyond – to gain valuable business skills.

With 14 million jobs likely to open up in the UK in the next decade, this one nation government wants young people to be at the forefront of the opportunities to get the best start in life.

The new ‘WE can’ campaign aims support young people make the most of those, by incorporating work experience into their career plans.

It is being launched ahead of GCSE and A-Level results and will be supported by up to 12,000 young people who are part of the Youth Employment UK network – led by their 84 Youth Ambassadors from across the country.

The campaign will encourage them to take ‘workies’ – the work version of a selfie – to demonstrate to their friends at school, college and university how the new skills they have picked up during work experience have helped them in their career.