Work Experience Schemes

February 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The government’s work experience scheme has been under fire this week with several companies including Burger King, Waterstones and Sainsbury’s pulling out of the initiative after it received heavy criticism from opponents who have branded the programme as ‘slave labour’.

The premise of the scheme is to give unemployed 16-24 year olds experience in a working environment for 2-8 weeks. Although participants don’t receive payment for their work, they do continue to receive benefits and in some cases job prospects are available at the end.

But concerns have arisen after it was announced that employees who didn’t attend their work placements would have their benefits docked. Further sparks have flown as opponents argued that leading companies should not expect people to work for no payment under any circumstances.

sainsbury work experience placements

Sainsbury's have pulled out of the scheme

As a business owner myself I firstly have to say that I am a support of the work experience scheme as I strongly believe that people should contribute to society and ultimately work for their benefits. Secondary I believe that work experience is a crucial part of a young person’s life as it’s an opportunity to learn new skills and gain confidence in your own abilities.  

Although my business isn’t involved in this particular scheme we do actively take part in work placements with schools in the local area, welcoming pupils into the work place for several weeks each year.

This process is extremely enjoyable for me and the team as it’s an opportunity to work with bright young people. But it’s also incredibly time consuming and takes a lot of effort for all involved to create a worthwhile experience. An element which I think people should bear in mind when slamming companies who are willing to take on unemployed youngsters.

Tesco work experience

Supermarket Tesco have adjusted their Work Placement policy

I’d personally like to see more compassion shown towards the hundreds of young people who take on unpaid internships, where big brands often use innovation ideas from talented young graduates to their own advantage. I believe that this is a real example of exploitation in young people and an issue that should be addressed.

I hope that people will come around to the work placement scheme and truly take the time to consider the scheme’s benefits- experience in a new environment, opportunity to network and ultimately the prospect of a career as the scheme could change a young person’s life forever.

I’d be interested in hearing your views of the governments work placement scheme…


Should older people have to downsize their homes?

October 21, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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In difficult financial times the finger of blame is often pointed. Reports on where things have gone wrong are frequently at the forefront of news features along with suggestions of how things can be altered to make problematic areas more beneficial to social today.

This week housing problems have flooded the news, with an estimated 25 million empty bedrooms in the UK it has been suggested that older people are becoming a home “hoarders” by holding on to homes which are too big for their needs.

lovely house

I am outraged by suggestions that older people should contemplate downsizing to make room for young families. I have to ask myself who is in a position to make such a suggestion which could potentially plan out somebody else’s life.

For many a home has sentimental value along with a collection of memories which can’t be packed up and taken to another property. Furthermore these so called “house hoarders” have worked hard for many years to own their homes. Why should their hard work be dismissed so easily?

Of course downsizing is perfectly acceptable and can be a great move for people who want to adjust their living arrangement to suit their personal needs. However, it’s unfair for older people to be made to feel as though they don’t belong in their own homes anymore.  

Has anyone considered that those 25 million empty rooms aren’t permanently empty? Some weekends they are occupied by excited grandchildren or visiting friends. During the week they are the home to sewing machines and book cases which keep the mind active.

To so ignorantly suggest that these empty rooms are merely a drain on social is so unfortunate. We can only hope that these suggestions to downsize don’t enforce any ill-fated decisions for older and often vulnerable members of society.

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