As well as our longer-term Apprentices and graduate internships programmes, UKCES hosts school- and college-age students and others on work experience placements. Over the next few weeks, we'll use the UKCES blog to highlight thoughts and reflections from some of the young people who have worked with us this summer.
This week's Work Experience Wednesday blog comes from Tom Deakin. Tom was placed with us for one month through the Our Community programme, organised in association with Jobcentre Plus. Our Community arranges voluntary placements for people who have been out of work for over a year, and aims to help them gain confidence, qualifications, work experience, and a reference for future employment.
Tom worked in our Wath-upon-Dearne office and took on tasks and projects across our project delivery, IT, and communications teams. Over the course of his month's placement he kept a detailed record of his activity; the excerpts posted here deal with his policy work, a visit to our London office, including a visit to the House of Commons with two work experience students, and his summing up of the month. Take it away Tom ...
My main task in the first week has been a presentation about the barriers young people face in getting into work. This has been based on a report called Catch 16-24.
In the morning of the trip to London, everything went to plan. I met Adam, my manager, in Sheffield at just gone 8.30am, which meant that we had 15 minutes to find our platform and board the train. Once in London we needed to get to Westminster, and this meant catching a couple of Tubes - we timed these to perfection as they had both just arrived into the station.
The office in London is so different to the office in Wath – it's situated in a large office building along with other organisations' offices.
In the London office, my day so far has consisted of being in a meeting which was about ‘the death of the Saturday job’ and this was interesting because it linked well with my Catch 16-24 project.
Later in the day as planned I met Nicoletta [coordinator in our project delivery team]. She was the one who was going to be showing us around and visiting the Houses of Parliament with me and the two London work experience guys Clinton and Charlie.
The whole experience was good as I could see the rooms where the MPs and the Prime Minister sit and speak about stuff – this was great because I had seen the rooms many times on the news and now I can say I have seen them close up!
Once the tour had finished we walked back to the office and met back up with Adam. After around 10 minutes we started to make our journey back home, this was at around 4.45pm.
When we arrived back at St Pancras we had a bit of time to spare, which allowed us to call and get a bit of food and then walk over to the train.
Wednesday morning, back in the office at Wath – the journey didn’t take quite as long as yesterday’s!
Would I do the whole trip again, well yes I would if given the chance, but unfortunately my time is coming to a close at UKCES. I’ve got to say that my whole time whilst at UKCES has been great and everyone in the office has been so nice to me. I have been able to utilise my skills and knowledge already gained to help complete tasks which were set out.
I’m glad that I was able to be here for five weeks rather than just for one as it has meant that I have gained more knowledge of how UKCES works, and more valuable experience back at work.
Follow this link for more information on Our Community.
Clinton and Charlie, who Tom mentioned accompanied him to the Houses of Parliament, also provided blog posts about their work with UKCES. We'll post these in the next few weeks on our Work Experience Wednesdays!
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