COLUMN: Work experience is the secret to success

Exam season is in full swing, but it's important to remember that it isn't just the results of these tests which determine the future success of our students.

Their grades won’t tell you how equipped they are for working life or how well they work in a team.

Work experience and developing employability skills are just as important as aademic ability. I am pleased to be able to report that our 16-19 year old students at Chesterfield College have completed more than 50,000 hours of work experience so far this academic year.

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It is thanks to the brilliant employers across Derbyshire who have helped us to achieve this. They understand the value of supporting young people and giving them a great start. Many of them see this as an opportunity to excite the next generation into their industry.

It is also down to the commitment and enthusiasm of our students who have risen to the challenge to take part in some fantastic work experience opportunities at the same time as studying.

Cadetships at Chesterfield Royal Hospital have given health and social care students a fantastic insight into the world of nursing. Partnering with a US charity to live stream music performances to people suffering with life limiting illnesses has given our media students a unique insight into live broadcast and creating a virtual reality tour of the lost village of Ashopton for a local history group has also helped our digital technologies students to see the impact their work can have on local communities.

At the moment, students in further education are expected to do at least 30 hours of work experience toenhance their skills in a particular industry. When the new T level qualifications are introduced next year, some subject areas will be expected to complete 315 houurs of work experience.

If you could offer a work experience placement contact our Work Experience Team on 01246 500500 ext. 1601.