New research of UK teenagers has revealed that an overwhelming majority (83%) would like work experience to be made a compulsory part of the school curriculum.
The research by the Career Colleges Trust also found that more than two thirds (67%) of today’s teenagers believe work experience is beneficial for finding employment, seeing what working in a certain sector is like (63%) and more than half (56%) believe it allows you to learn valuable skills that are not taught in the classroom.
Today in Scotland, the work experience concept remains in place and there is an expectation that all pupils will have the opportunity to participate. For most mainstream secondary schools this takes the form of a one week work placement organised during a pupil’s 4th year.
So why is work experience such a good thing?
In at number one: young people are more likely to be successful in their job hunt if they have done some good work experience. Fact.
Want some evidence? Well, over half of the graduate recruiters that took part in a recent research study by Highfliers said that, “graduates who have had no previous work experience at all are unlikely to be successful during the selection process and have little or no chance of receiving a job offer for their organisations’ graduate programmes.”
If you haven’t got a clue what career you want to do, work experience is a perfect way to sample all the career options out there. It’s a way of exploring different jobs without actually committing to anything. You can dip your toe in the water without taking the full plunge.
It’s the best way to get a real sense of your chosen industry. You’ll get to speak to employees and ask them questions. You won’t know what it’s like until you get closer to the action.
Doing work experience shows passion and interest. Evidence that you have done work experience shows the employer that you are motivated to get into a chosen career and that you’ve done your homework.
If you’re floundering about and frankly aren’t that bothered about your career, work experience might just be the kick up the backside you need. If you do a variety of different work placements, you might find something you are passionate about and get motivated.
Work experience gently introduces you to the world of work. You get to learn the dos and don’ts, get work place savvy and learn to navigate your way through the jungle of office politics. Vitally, it’ll give you an idea of the skills you might need to thrive in the workplace.
It’ll help you identify your own skills and perhaps even highlight the areas that you might want to work on.
You might wow them so much that you’ll manage to wrangle yourself a job!
It’s all about networking. It’ll help you build up contacts and, you never know, they might even give you a heads up about a future job or recommend you to another company.
And yes, work experience does give you something to put on your CV!
You’re not supposed to feel lonely while you’re young, but the truth is it’s a bigger concern among young people than any other age group.
In recent years youth loneliness and isolation has been increasingly identified as a matter of significant public concern. Research identifies that one in three young people suffer from loneliness (Red Cross, Co-op, Kantar, 2016) and 65% of 16-25 years old reporting feeling loneliness at times and 32% feeling lonely “often” or “all the time” (Majoribanks and Bradley, 2017).
“Loneliness is a recognised problem among the elderly – there are day centres and charities to help them,” says Sam Challis, an information manager at the mental health charity Mind, “but when young people reach 21 they’re too old for youth services.”
But what can young people do to combat loneliness?
While meditation techniques such as mindfulness and apps such as Headspace are trendy solutions frequently recommended for a range of mental health problems, they’re not necessarily helpful for loneliness, as they actively encourage us to dwell alone on our thoughts. You’re be better off addressing the underlying causes of being lonely first – what’s stopping you going out and seeing people?
Social media can be helpful. Helplines can also reduce loneliness, at least in the short term. One in four men who call the Samaritans mention loneliness or isolation, and Get Connected is a free confidential helpline for young people, where they can seek help with emotional and mental health issues often linked to loneliness. There are also support services on websites such as Mind’s that can remind you you’re not alone. Speak to your employer, value the interactions you have in the workplace. Counselling can be helpful. The BACP website allows you to search for counsellors in your area. “A problem aired is a problem shared and sometimes you need to talk to someone impartial and independent of your friends and family.
If recent research is to be believed, loneliness is killing the elderly and, with an ageing population, we should aim to reduce our isolation before it is too late. “Getting older doesn’t have to mean getting lonelier,” says Ruth Sutherland, the chief executive of Relate, in a new report. “But much of this rests on laying the foundations to good-quality relationships earlier in life.”
A new grassroots movement to challenge sexism, reduce mental health stigma, and save the lives of young women across the world has kicked off in Scotland.
Young women are the highest-risk group for mental illness in the UK. Research estimates 46% of young women between 11 and 21 years old have sought out treatment for mental health conditions including anxiety, depression and eating disorders.
Research has shown that psychological distress amongst young women is linked to the growing pressures that this group faces: pressures to look beautiful and thin in an age of ‘airbrushing’; social media pressures; stress at school and university; and an increase in sexual harassment. Very often, these pressures lead to low self-esteem and body image problems, with evidence suggesting that young girls start to worry about their body image from the age of 11.
Existing magazines targeting young women can compound these problems with picture perfect models gracing every page. Fearless Femme sets about challenging these cultural norms by empowering young women to overcome stress and other mental health challenges through its new online magazine and growing community of ‘rebelles’, as well as its research and campaigns for policy change.
Want to know more? Fearless Femme can be found at https://www.fearlessfemme.co.uk/our-story/
Year of Young People 2018 is an opportunity for generations to come together and celebrate our nation’s young people.
It is a platform for our young people (8 to 26). It will give them a stronger voice on issues which affect their lives, showcase their ideas and talents, and ultimately, aim to challenge status quo and create a more positive perception of them in society.
Young people’s voices have been at the heart of the Year, since planning started in 2015. After leading an in-depth consultation with hundreds of their peers, they made recommendations on what the top priorities and goals should be.
To take forward these ideas, a group of 35 young people, Communic18, was created. Their role is to influence how the Year will be run, while ensuring young people’s voices are heard and acted upon. In addition, there are more than 500 Ambassadors, who are promoting local activities and creating opportunities in their communities to challenge negative stereotypes of young people.
Activity for the Year is based around six key themes, which were developed by young people and will guide everything done:
Share and celebrate young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts.
Allow young people to have more say in their education and learning.
Enterprise and regeneration
Celebrate young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live.
Equality and discrimination
Recognise the positive impact of young people in Scotland and encourage them to take the lead in challenging all forms of prejudice and discrimination.
Health and wellbeing
Make sure young people have the chance to lead healthy, active lives and understand the importance of mental health and resilience.
Give young people the chance to influence decisions that affect their lives
Over the next few weeks K & M Communities will look at issues affecting young people today, we hope you enjoy.
Want to get involved or know more, visit http://yoyp2018.scot/
A short film highlighting the wonderful wildlife and wild places throughout the north east of Scotland was launched last week.
“The Wild North East – Scotland’s Natural Gem” was commissioned by the North East Scotland Biodiversity Partnership, of which Aberdeenshire Council is an active member and supporter.
Schools across Scotland should be used as community hubs to deliver a wide range of public services.
That’s the verdict of South Ayrshire Council and its partners following a pilot in north Ayr, which culminated in a community marketplace at Ayr Academy on 23 February.
A range of partners from NHS, Scottish Fire and Rescue service and the voluntary sector worked together to explore how this would work in practice.
Crucially, services were available to everyone living in the area – not just those with children in the schools.
Services provided included money and debt management advice, employability and skills information and advice, health and wellbeing support from school nurses and assistant nurse practitioners. Council Leader, Douglas Campbell, commented on the learning from the pilot,
“It’s been a terrific learning opportunity for all the partners involved and that’s been one of the key outcomes of this week – getting to know more about what each of us has to offer and how we can better link in and signpost to provide a more joined-up service for people.”