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One of the reasons students look for work experience is because they want to develop certain skills or strengthen the ones they already have. We’ve put together this ‘how-to’ guide that will help you pick the skills you believe will best engage your work experience student.
Firstly, keep in mind the actual skills they want to develop. On their Grandshake profile, students are able to select the skills they want to develop, so this is a great place to start.
Do some research about the top soft skills that are valuable to your industry and workplace. Or discuss with your internal team about skills that the industry needs. You can also ask students at the beginning of the work experience what skills they want to work on.
Our problem is that we are focusing too much on jobs instead of skills when really skills are greater than jobs in the future of work.
Most work experience placements only last a few days or weeks during the holidays, so you may be tempted to cram as many skill sets into their tasks as possible. But this might overwhelm them and mean that they aren’t properly developing these skills. We recommend really taking the time to develop a few set number of skills, instead.
Finally, try to pair these skills with tasks that are still providing a good insight into your industry, and something that is diverse and still engages the student. It’s highly unlikely your work experience student will enjoy their time in the workplace if all they got to do is conduct research. Even though this may develop their time management and research skills, it isn’t exposing them to a variety of roles or other ways to develop these skills.
Learn how schools across the nation are value-adding skills development and career education within the growing boundaries of the global pandemic.