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One +1 work experience campaign

Last year saw the launch of One +1, our work experience campaign to encourage those offering work experience to young people they know to ‘match’ their offer with another for a young person supported by the SMF. The campaign targeted four key professional sectors: Engineering, Finance, Science and Medicine.

After a successful campaign, which saw SMF students be a ‘+1’ in Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester, we are running the campaign again this year so that more SMF students are able to access work experience opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to.

Work experience is now increasingly essential to securing both university places and graduate jobs, with a 2016 report suggesting employers expect to fill anywhere between a third and half of graduate vacancies with a student who has had previous work experience at their organisation[1]. When over half of placements[2] are found by young people or by their families using largely existing social networks, this can make it increasingly difficult for with those without connections to break into the careers they want. This extends to university applications, with 88% of twenty Russell Group universities surveyed saying that for medicine applicants work experience was essential or desirable[3].

In recent years progress has been made in opening up work experience to those that otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity, but it has been limited to certain sectors. The PRIME commitment in the legal sector and Access Accountancy offer formal work experience programmes for young people looking to enter these professions and are a great example of successful schemes in this area. In the sectors targeted by One +1, more opportunities are needed, however.

As individuals in the professions, you can help. You can get behind the One+1 campaign and take an SMF student as a +1 on work experience this summer. For more information and how to get involved please go to: www.socialmobility.org.uk/oneplus1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] http://www.highfliers.co.uk/download/2016/graduate_market/GMReport16.pdf

[2] http://www.educationandemployers.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/work_experience_report__april_2012_.pdf

[3] Ibid

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