As part of the government endorsed work experience programme, Forward 25 has been providing placements with spaces for knowledge-based projects. These projects may be with us directly, but in most cases we coordinate with other organisations and individuals to build projects that helps the individuals move forward in their area of interest. The work is carried out in the Forward 25 office and sometimes with the project sponsor themselves.
Within this work experience programme, Forward 25 has hosted 24 placements and delivered projects working closely with project sponsors and by matching skill gaps to projects with real outcomes. Support is also provided on CV updates, addressing barriers to job searching and finding, and in applying for work. This is part of the Workspaces & Projects pilot that has been delivered in the last year. There has been a 60% success rate in assisting individuals on work placements on moving on successfully to full time education, employment, apprenticeships and self employment with other employers.
“Work experience is an essential step for many to not only access the networks that they need, but to have the opportunity to show off their skills. For some, it is the first time that they enter the work setting and for others, a gap may have occurred that means that work experience gives them the opportunity to re-orientate themselves. In a short space of time, individuals on work experience have contributed to day to day activities, undertaken projects, and provided us with new insights and enthusiasm. We work with external project sponsors matching skills with short projects, and in that role, we also benefit other communities through the work experience programme. We are a small social enterprise, so our placements are pretty much guaranteed not to result in employment with Forward 25 Careers. We ensure that there is time provided to update CVs, support job searching, applications and the thinking process that ultimately helps the individuals move forward. We have seen lots of talents from school leavers to postgraduates come through Forward 25 with the work experience programme, and know that it has provided gains not just for them directly, but to project sponsors working with us.” (Rupa Chilvers, Founder/CEO, Forward 25 Careers).