As part of the national Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) agenda, The Highland Council, Schools, Colleges and DYW Regional Groups are working in partnership to develop and increase work-related learning opportunities for young people through employer engagement.
The DYW initiative gives work-related learning a high priority and looks to increase the work-related learning options on offer to all young people. Over the years our young people have had some amazing work experience opportunities thanks to the time, expertise and goodwill of our local employers. We wish to build on this model, therefore a new process has been developed to meet the needs of the DYW agenda and to address some of the feedback we have received from employers and schools. We are now asking young people to demonstrate their interest in the opportunities by completing an application form. This not only equips young people with a realistic taste for the world of work, but also allows employers to gauge the interest and suitability of each applicant and to consider how they can best support future career aspirations.
The new process is detailed below:
- The hi-hope work experience tab captures information about the live opportunities on offer from employers in Highland. We will make every attempt to ensure that the opportunities listed have valid Employers Liability Insurance and a workplace assessment in place, so are available immediately. Dates available are listed on each job card if you are planning in advance. This tab can be used by pupils to explore the work related learning opportunities that are available by tag words, sector, school, age or opportunity. Teaching staff can also use hi-hope to search and arrange work related learning opportunities with employers such as visits to the workplace, career talks, mock interviews, work shadowing, career and business fayres etc.
- Usernames and passwords have been issued to each school to share with pupils and parents/carers as led by the school. Pupils can use this password to access the work experience tab to browse jobs in particular sectors or to seek opportunities linked to the skills appropriate for their career aspirations.
- Pupils can browse hi-hope either within the classroom environment, during one to one discussion around individual skills and interests with their guidance/subject teacher or at home in their own time. The pupil can come to a decision independently with advice from their teacher to decide the right time/placement.
- Pupils then apply for their chosen placement by completing an application form which include sections where they can detail their personal skills, interests and motivations. This provides valuable information for employers to support career aspirations. The pupil will develop core employability skills by learning about the application process and how they can articulate their current skills linking with their profile. It also allows the opportunity to reflect on their current abilities and aspirations.
- Once complete the application form is emailed to the Link Teacher. Currently, during the pilot phase, the form is restricted to only accept a highland.gov.uk email address.
- Link staff can then check over the application with the pupil and either return to the pupil for amendments, retain for submission at a suitable time nearer the placement date and/or add a reference or a supporting statement before sending on to the employer. Click on the forward button to add your reference within the pupil application form before sending on to the employer email contact as per the job card. If an employer does not wish to be contacted by email, this information will be noted in the any other relevant information box on the job card. Details of how to apply will be noted there. A word version of the application form will be available shortly, so that pupils can work off-line.
- If the employer does not make contact within 10 days a follow up phone-call should be made by the school following submission of the application form. In all instances the link teacher should discuss the details of the placement and the suitability of the pupil including any additional support needs required during placement.
- The school should keep a record of all opportunities that pupils are applying for - this can be done in 16+ notes or on a database/spreadsheet. The school should also keep a record of pupils who are applying for or accessing any work-related learning with employers.
- Requests for placements with employers who are not on Hi-Hope are subject to a workplace assessment visit and annual employer’s liability insurance updates. These requests should be passed to DYW regional groups with Chris Porter copied in. Regional groups and the Work Experience Administrator will follow up to get these employers on to hi-hope. Currently we are unable to process employers who are only able to offer a one-off placement, due to the significant costs relating to the assessment. We will also not be able to work with employers who do not agree to the terms of the data-sharing agreement, as we would not be able to share their information with partners.
- It is expected that 20 working days notice is the anticipated requirement for a new employer to be checked and cleared for work experience. While we would hope to get this done in a much quicker timeframe there are a number of factors outwith our control to consider - schools should plan to this timescale. Once the employer is 'live' on hi-hope the Work Experience Administrator will inform the school and the pupil can apply directly. If the placement is going ahead - a permission letter should be sent home to inform parent/carers. The template for this is attached below as well as a handout version of this guidance.
School Guidance Sheet - printable version
Work Experience - Parent/Carer Permission Letter