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What are the benefits of virtual work experience for schools?

Work experience is unlike almost any other part of a student’s schooling life. As an educator, it means entrusting private businesses with your students’ education and wellbeing. It can be a challenge to find out what students want beyond school, line them up with professional experiences and push them towards their futures while making sure they’re still passing exams and learning today’s busy curriculum. Of course it’s possible to find an ideal workplace for them to learn from, but there’s every chance your students may end up filing papers and picking up coffees instead of gaining real industry experience.

All these headaches are a big part of why Virtual Work Experience is growing so rapidly. When schools partner with Grandshake, they know we’ve already done the hard work collaborating with some of Australia’s most-respected companies to make sure our four-week virtual placements are interesting and educational. The businesses we partner with want students there because they know how important it is to inspire the next generation and they don’t want to waste their or your students’ time dreaming up “time filler” tasks. Here’s why we think it’s valuable to students to gain work experience virtually.

It’s easy for schools to provide industry opportunities

Being a teacher is hard enough, so let someone else take care of industry relationships and further learning opportunities. We know schools just want to see their students succeed and it’s why we’ve created an all-in-one Virtual Work Experience solution that’s easy to set up and endlessly rewarding. 

Brisbane’s Craigslea State High School has been working with us for several years now and is particularly impressed with the benefits of Virtual Work Experience. Whether students are going on to university or straight into the workforce, principal Mark Farewell and his team believe high-quality work experience is critical.

“One of the great things about working with them is that it gives us access to industry partners and experiences for our kids, which wouldn't be possible by ourselves,” he said.
“And also the quality assurance processes of Grandshake mean that we have confidence that our students are safe in the environments that they work in and we'll have great experiences.”

Students gain real experience and a microcredential

Our program is secure, scaleable and easy to access from anywhere. On top of the obvious benefits from exposure to professionals already working in their potential future career, students earn real microcredentials. Microcredentials are digital proof of their experience and skills that they can show to future employers. Because we work so hard to build relationships with schools and businesses and help them design the program, we can guarantee your students will be learning and experiencing the job, getting real feedback from a mentor in the field.

‘I’ve learnt heaps and heaps’

It only takes a quick look at some of the recent participants in our Environmental Science placement with Cardno to see how valuable the experience was. Year 12 student Gabby is passionate about conservation and protecting the planet, particularly when it comes to facing the challenges of climate change. As part of her four-week Virtual Work Experience, she was able to speak to both senior and graduate Environmental Scientists about what paths they took to get to where they are today.

“I’ve learnt heaps and heaps about how companies like Cardno manage their projects to be more sustainable and have the best outcomes for communities, for businesses, and for just the environment as a whole,” she said.
“I think that’s so important that we’re looking towards a more sustainable future.”

For Claire, a year 10 student, it was so important just to be able to speak with someone in the industry but she also came out of the program with well-honed soft skills ranging from creative and critical thinking to networking, time management and conflict resolution.

Industry can shape the future workforce

Do you remember what we said at the start about a win-win-win situation for schools, students and industry? Yes, industry is sitting at the table with us wanting to inspire the next generation.

“It’s important to embrace our future workers and provide them with an opportunity to display their talent and abilities.” says Dhawal Nayak, the Founder, CEO and Mastermind behind Grand Company, the ed-tech start-up behind Grandshake. 

The businesses we partner with are often already scouting for raw talent or that spark of passion to start mentoring and supporting their future employees now. 

Here at Grandshake our Virtual Work Experience platform is ready to go at the touch of a button and full of opportunities for your students. You can learn more about our programs on our Schools page.

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