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Bridging the gap between school and the work place

Everyone knows August is an important month in education, as thousands of pupils and schools eagerly await the A Level and GCSE results.

In the run up to these days, articles are often published about the importance of grades for a student’s future versus the life skills they need to survive in the workplace.

The most recent research found business leaders are increasingly looking for “soft” skills and personality, as well as academic achievements, when hiring workers.

In fact, following the survey conducted by British Gas on 1,750 businessmen and women, more than nine in 10 employers say candidates should focus on soft skills just as much as their grades.

These statistics got The Pack thinking about how and what businesses could do to help bridge the gap between the classroom and the office, which is sure to benefit both school leavers and companies in the future.


Take on a work experience placement

Work experience is key to bridging the gap between education and the world of work. It can open young people’s eyes to jobs they have never thought of, help inform career decisions, offer a chance to prove themselves to an employer and help instil the attitudes and behaviours expected at work.

For a business, taking part in work experiences allows it access to a wide talent pool to draw from when recruiting and a good talent pipeline to build on. Young people can bring energy, passion and a fresh perspective to a business and existing staff can also benefit from the chance to work with and manage a young person.


Create your own graduate scheme

Similar to taking on a work experience placement, graduate schemes offer benefits to both employees and employers.

Introducing graduates into a business can bring new eyes and fresh ideas into the company while allowing them to jump-start their careers through dedicated schemes, with the opportunity to progress steadily through the Company.

Graduates provide raw talent which a business can shape and mould as it pleases, resulting in a long term contribution to the development of the company and with graduates placed in different departments within the company, detailed feedback can be provided and suggestions on which processes are working.


Attend careers days at local education establishments

Not only will attending careers days help you appear more visible in the local community, your presence may lead to a school leaver finding their dream job. It could very well be that you are able to open their eyes to the numerous roles within your business they never even realised existed or perhaps they will be so enthralled by the presentation you give about your workplace, they apply for the next available position. Without even realising it, by attending a careers day you have changed the future of at least that one student.


Hold open days for students at your company

Just as a school will hold an open day to attract future pupils, why not hold sessions where you invite the next generation of employees to have a look at what your business does? Not only will it offer future employees a more in depth look at what a typical day would be like for them, it could help you identify those who would be cut out for a role there and those who would not – saving time and possibly money in the future.

It’s clear both businesses and academic institutions could and should be doing more to support today’s school students, who will become tomorrow’s employees. We believe doing even just one of the above could go a long way in starting to close this obvious gap.


If you work in a business which already has strong links with schools, colleges or universities, we’d love to hear your thoughts.

Tweet us @harveyandhugo

Related Links: What I learned as an intern at Harvey & Hugo: http://harveyandhugo.com/what-i-learned-as-an-intern-at-harvey-hugo/

Do we have the most annoying workplace: http://harveyandhugo.com/do-we-have-the-most-annoying-workplace/

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