Work experience – it’s something most of us have undertaken at one point or another before we landed the jobs and careers we’re in now.

For the most part, work experience tends to be a positive and memorable arrangement for both the student and the employer, inspiring a future in the field. And even if a student doesn’t end up working in the same type of career they still get the benefit of learning the disciplines, routines and relationships needed in a workplace.

Carrie Yates (1)

As we step into the New Year, we would like to introduce another member of the work experience team - Carrie Yates. Carrie works alongside Lorna Trevethan as Work Experience Coordinator, and is now the key contact connecting employers with education in the Isle of Man. is now in its third year of running the Work Experience Programme in conjunction with the Isle of Man Government Department for Education, Sports and Culture (DESC). As the Island's co-ordinators, liaises with the schools and employers to ensure that both parties have the most productive placement possible.

We’re a team dedicated to developing opportunities for students to pave a career pathway, and supporting employers to help build the future workforce of today’s younger generation. In the report Making the Grade (2017) by Education and Employers, teachers provided feedback about the impact of work related activities on student’s development and education; “Over half of teachers felt academic achievement can be improved by helping students understand the relevance of education to employment, as well as exposing students to new role models through employer engagement”.

We are proud to have worked with nearly 400 employers across the Island during 2017, a large proportion of which are continuing to support the programme by offering annual placements. We’re now looking to grow our employer community even further, so that we can offer students an even wider variety of opportunities available on-Island.

What your support means

To provide the most valuable experience for students, suited to their skills and interests, we want to be able to showcase all the industry types and opportunities the Island has to offer to young adults.

John Payne, Senior Architect at the Department of Infrastructure had the pleasure of hosting a student, “We were impressed with the work experience student you sent us. She was enthusiastic, confident and out-going, and she clearly demonstrated that she had the qualities, skills and determination to pursue a career in Architecture! I hope her school encourages her in this direction, as in our opinion she has the ability and aptitude to succeed. The architectural profession in the IOM would be delighted to see more Manx students studying architecture and bringing their creative skills back to the Island when they qualify!”

Typically, work experience placements span one or two weeks within a business, allowing employers the opportunity to get to know their students and their capabilities throughout their placement. During 2018, there will be over 800 students from the five secondary schools taking part in this year’s programme – that means we need over 1200 placements with employers to provide a broad selection accommodating students’ interests, and to split their placements over the first and second weeks!

Carrie is already making fantastic contacts across businesses; “It’s been great to meet so many new people and professionals who are equally passionate in supporting the development of young adults. We encourage students to approach businesses directly throughout the year, to support them in working independently and growing their professional development skills. However, we also need a bank of placements so that students can see the array of diverse opportunities available on the island, and also provide options for students who may not be in a position to approach businesses directly.”

If you are an employer already offering work experience, or you are thinking about doing so, you will be supporting young people and helping to shape the Island’s future workforce. It is a great opportunity for employers to provide an insight into the real world of work and into career paths that are available in a particular sector. Students can often bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to your organisation, and provide full time employees with the opportunity to develop their supervisory and management skills – meaning employers can benefit as much from the placement as the student!

Annette Pinhorn, Tiered Award Lead at Crossroads Care gave us a great insight into why Crossroads Care continue to support the work experience programme each year; “I believe work experience is an ideal learning experience for a young person, it can kick-start a career. It is really rewarding to see our visiting students gain courage and confidence during their time with us. It is also a great opportunity for our staff to mentor and lead others, passing on their knowledge and the value of their experience. I also believe that work experience raises the profile of Crossroads Care, as we are not only giving this one working experience but are also hoping to find future employees and volunteers via the Work Experience Scheme.”

How to get involved

Have we piqued your interest sufficiently for you to consider opening your doors for young adults across the Island? Get in touch! Contact Carrie Yates at [email protected] or call us on 664000 for more information and how to register your organisation to join the 2018 Work Experience Programme. We also offer businesses support through personal visits and coaching to help you develop a meaningful placement. Kick-start the new year by supporting your future workforce and discover what hosting a student could do for you! 

Download our What's in it for you? brochure for details on hosting a work experience placement.