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Talent focus: the importance of work experience

15 November 2023

Do you remember back to your two weeks of work experience at school? I do! It seems like a lifetime ago now.

I did mine at Crystal Ford, the now defunct car dealership on Holderness Road in Hull. It must have been 1991. It was two weeks of office gossip with the ladies, getting to grips with equipment like the photocopier, learning about databases and CRMs (which appealed to my inner geek), and learning more about the routine of full-time work. Although I had a part-time job in a local shop at the weekends, working office hours was a different experience and one that I thoroughly enjoyed and found immensely valuable.

What did you do for your work experience?

If you run a business now, do you offer work experience opportunities for secondary school children?

There are many reasons why it is important for businesses to provide work experience. Here are some of the most important:

  • To give students a taste of the working world. Work experience can help students to understand what it is like to work in a professional environment. They can learn about the different roles and responsibilities that are involved in a particular job, as well as the skills and knowledge that are required. This can help them to make more informed decisions about their future careers.
  • Work experience can provide students with the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge in a real-world setting. They can learn new skills, such as problem-solving, teamwork, and communication. They can also gain knowledge about a particular industry or sector. This can give them a competitive edge when they are applying for jobs after graduation.
  • Providing work experience is a way for businesses to give back to the community. It can help to prepare young people for the workforce, and it can also help to build relationships between businesses and schools.
  • Improved recruitment. Work experience can help businesses to identify potential employees who are a good fit for their company culture and values. This can lead to a more successful recruitment process and a lower turnover rate.
  • Improved brand reputation. Businesses that provide work experience are seen as being more supportive of young people and their development. This can lead to a positive reputation among potential employees, customers, and investors.

If you are a business owner or manager, I encourage you to consider providing work experience to students. It is a great way to give back to the community, to identify potential employees, and to improve your business.


Nicol, a student at Hull College, recently did work experience at Hull and East Yorkshire Mind. Her account of her time shows how valuable work experience is to both the student and to the organisation, and to the industry as a whole in developing the professionals of the future.

She says: I have been introduced to the company and found out what HEY Mind do, the history behind the charity, its values and what it does for people. I have been provided with details regarding dress code, my working hours, and have been given a detailed time table with explanation of who I am going to see, where to go and that they are expecting of me, which makes me feel more confident. I was also introduced to policies and procedures and fire safety information. 

I was very satisfied with my experience working at Mind, and the areas I have shadowed were relevant to my course. I am a BTEC Level 3 Health and Social Care student. Working in a social setting and seeing professionals work on both front line with clients, but also supporting them through keeping up to date and appropriate admin was something I have only heard about in my lessons, until now. The social side of my course is about working with individuals with various needs, including mental health.  

The areas I covered include being introduced to talking therapists and finding out what their role is in supporting clients, managing properties, organising support and supplies that the charity is providing to clients, and admin work which covered organising trainings. I also learned about fundraising, which Marie-Louise is taking to another level with her person-centred approach towards the community, and keeping records in general.

Joe on the information line and Andrea in reception are doing a great job signposting people to the right departments and providing information over the telephone. I have also seen how safeguarding works in practice, how multiagency working is carried out to help individuals who are at risk, and how important it is to keep records and making sure the person in need is not left without any support, which I have experienced while shadowing the support line. 

I definitely feel that I have developed new skills which will help me in a professional setting. Apart from shadowing the jobs, I was also picking up on the professional attitudes and approaches. I have gained more than I expected, just because I felt comfortable and confident in every single area I have worked in. Members of the staff made me feel welcome, they did not make me feel like I am their responsibility, but another pair of hands on the team, which helped me to adapt almost immediately.  

I would recommend doing a placement at Mind to other students. You do cover topics that may be difficult for some and it does require people to be mature and being able to handle various difficult situations, however they are not left alone with it as all members of staff support each other, and managers provide supervision as well as support at all times.  


There are many companies around the Humber that offer work experience placements including Eon Visual Media

At Eon Visual Media, we offer work experience for students, typically those at secondary school or college level.

During a work experience week, the student can expect to get involved in all areas of our business, from design, video and animation, to web and app development and marketing. It’s a week of learning and hands on experience. We understand the importance of engaging the next generation in the growing digital world, so we take every opportunity to make work experience fun and interactive! 

At Eon Visual Media, there are no specific entry requirements or deadlines to work experience – we only ask that students are passionate, enthusiastic and willing to learn. We maintain close relationships with schools, colleges and universities within our region who often contact us about work experience. Students wishing to join us for work can contact us via our website. 

Have a read of this from Isaac, a student from Hornsea, who did a week’s work experience at Eon Visual Media -

Eon work experience

If you offer work experience to students, we’d love to hear about it! We’d also love your stories of students who have done work experience or internships at your company.