Work Experience Works Wonders for HoW College Students

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Work Experience Works Wonders for HoW College Students

19 August 2020

Heart of Worcestershire College (HoW College), have found that work experience opportunities within the last academic year really have worked wonders for their students! From a few hours here and there over several months, to a day every week or even several weeks at a time; work experience offered within courses at HoW College has shown to be invaluable.

Over the course of the 2019-2020 academic year, HoW College students have had many phenomenal opportunities. From working with the Redditch Standard, Ragdale Hall, Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Services and Michelin star restaurant Pensons, to Sight Concern Worcestershire, Age UK, Ducati plus much more.

Speaking on her time at the Redditch Standard in 2019 and the benefits of work experience, Level 3 Business Student, Gabija Alseikaite, said:

“I’ve always really enjoyed English and have been interested in the media industry, therefore working at Redditch Standard was a great opportunity for me to sharpen my skills. This experience has given me much more confidence in a professional environment as they let me express myself.”

Another student who has previously shared their views on work experience and courses with HoW College was Level 2 Beauty Therapy student, Madison Wedgbury; having previously completed one work experience with Wildmoor Spa, Bannatyne, Madison then went on to complete a work experience at Ragdale Hall and commented:

“I enjoyed the constant rush of working alongside the other Beauty Therapists in the Spa and I also enjoyed the opportunity of being able to work on clients, setting up my own treatment room, as well as witnessing all aspects of the Spa.

The course prepared me for this role by encouraging me to take on clients and not to worry. It has also helped me by building up my confidence for tasks such as consultations.”

Every student at HoW College must complete a set amount of work experience hours as part of their course. This varies between subject areas, but most entail between 30 and 300 hours of placements. Such opportunities bring a vast amount of benefits to the students; not only does it give them the opportunity to put the theory they learn in the classroom into practice in a real-world environment, but it allows every student to add their CV, elevate employability skills, and gain an employer reference. Some students may even find a new employer from the work experience they have taken!

Another student who wanted to share their reasoning for looking to participate in a work placement was Level 3 Business student, Elliott Fitzgerald-Harris, who worked with Age UK Bromsgrove, Redditch & Wyre Forrest. Elliott said:

“I wanted a chance to experience something new and have a new challenge in a non-profit organisation. I enjoyed the new challenges I faced because it encouraged me to work harder and it improved my work in college because it gave me an insight into how what I was learning worked in real life.

I have gained multiple skills such as planning events, being part of meetings and learning how to give my input. My work experience has helped me gain confidence and improved it massively.”

HoW College have previously partnered with a wide array of businesses, employers and companies to provide brilliant work experience opportunities, and it isn’t just the students who benefit significantly from a work experience, it’s the employers too! Those who offer placements can offer real world experience to help train, shape and prepare the next generation for the industry for free. It can also introduce businesses to new perspectives, opinions and ideas as well as add a potential new employee in the process.

Feedback from employers regarding work experience opportunities speak for themselves. Pensons Pastry Chef, Andy Fellows, commented:

“We hope this is the start of future work experience students and interns joining us at Pensons.  We are very happy to encourage and support young local chefs and offer them the opportunity of valuable practical industry experience with us.”

On behalf of the Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Services, group commander Rob Allen also shared comments following a training event that HoW College Level 3 Theatrical and Media Make-up students attended, to practice their special effects make-up:

“The Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Services would like to thank students from HoW College’s Theatrical makeup course for their contributions to the annual service exercise.

The exercise was made all the more realistic due to the detailed and convincing injuries produced by the students. We hope that we can continue to collaborate with the course and college in the future to provide experience and learning opportunities for all.”

Moving into this next academic year HoW College will endeavour to continue delivering invaluable work experience opportunities to its students; although there may be more digital or face adjustments to keep everyone safe.

For more information on the courses on offer at HoW College, visit the link below: