Firms to promote the value of work experience

Allstate NI, EY and Herbert Smith Freehills are back with the fourth instalment in the virtual ‘Your Child, Their Future’ series, this time to promote the value of work experience.

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 1:00 pm

Industry experts from Career Ready, The Prince’s Trust and Business in the Community NI will share their knowledge on how on-the-job placements can prepare school leavers for the world of work in the informal virtual discussion on Wednesday, May 12.

Work experience is often the first contact young people have with the professional world. After a year of remote learning and staying apart, many teenagers due to enter the labour market in the coming months are without any occupational experience.

As global leaders that employ over 4,000 people in Northern Ireland, Allstate NI, EY and Herbert Smith Freehills are bringing together industry specialists to give parents and pupils the chance to ask questions, explore opportunities and learn about the merits of work experience.

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In order to meet the developing needs of businesses, the firms believe it is time young people step away from the computer screen and gain a taste of the workplace that will promote inspiration for future career aspirations and enhance their social and communication skills.

Given the trajectory of local industry, the leading employers hope to encourage real-life experience in the most in demand occupations, particularly across science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

Hosted by former BBC journalist Sarah Travers, the free online event will feature three industry experts, who are parents themselves, to engage in dialogue with families about the best route to successful, well paid employment.

Speakers will include: Tony Madden, Regional Manager for Career Ready, a charity that works with local employers to support 17-18 year olds to build employability skills. Aoife Moody, Senior Head of Operations at The Prince’s Trust Northern Ireland, who has 14 years’ experience in supporting young people to realise their potential. And Joanne Mehaffy, Business in the Community’s Programme Manager for Work Inspiration, an initiative to make work experience more meaningful, relevant, and inspiring.

John Healy, Vice President & Managing Director at Allstate NI said: “We are thrilled to be hosting another ‘Your Child, Their Future’ event to promote the concept of work experience among young people and their parents. Teenagers preparing to leave school have been living with a question mark over their future careers as Covid-19 placed aspirations and plans to enter the world of work on hold.

“As society reopens, it is essential that we engage with school leavers and their families, particularly with young women, to give them a flavour of what a career in tech can really look like. Across all sectors, it is important that we invest in the development of our future leaders to secure the best skills and talent to meet business needs going forward.”

Aoife Moody, Senior Head of Operations at The Prince’s Trust NI added: “Many young people go through education with an idea of where they will work when they grow up. Often influenced by parents and older siblings, it is only when teenagers leave the comfort of the school classroom for their first work experience that they get a true picture of the world of employment.

“The chance to experience potential work environments first-hand was unfortunately taken from many during periods of remote learning, however it is now time that we consider a return to vocational experience. Young people rely on these experiences to inform their subject choices and extra-curricular activities going forward and it is essential that we do everything we can to help them realise their full potential.”

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