Bromley teenager among many calling for compulsory work experience

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:14 22 February 2018

Lauren Polson, 17, joined London South East Colleges� Career College three years ago. Picture: Career Colleges

Lauren Polson, 17, joined London South East Colleges� Career College three years ago. Picture: Career Colleges


Many teenagers are calling for compulsory work experience to be put back on the school curriculum, including Bromley student Lauren Polson.

A survey of over 1000 teenagers, conducted by Career Colleges Trust, found that 83pc of 14-19 year olds think work experience should be compulsory, suggesting that the government was wrong to remove it from the school curriculum in 2012.

Lauren, 17, joined London South East Colleges’ Career College three years ago.

Now an apprentice in the college’s award winning BR6 Restaurant and Bakehouse, she said: “Studying at the Career College has been like one long job experience session.

“I did my GCSEs alongside vocational qualifications including a level 3 in pastry and confectionary.

“I have spent a lot of time in BR6 restaurant, improving my cooking and hospitality skills.”

A third (31pc) of London-based teens reported not having done any work experience at school yet nearly half (48%) had proactively organised their own placement.

Nationally, more than two thirds, or 67pc, of those asked believe work experience is beneficial for finding employment, with more than half (56pc) saying that it allows you to learn valuable skills that are not taught in the classroom.

Traditional education environments, including secondary and grammar schools, were highlighted in the research as being the least likely to offer work experience, with students at Career Colleges and FE Colleges taking part in far more work experience-related activities.

Lauren added: “I have been given the opportunity to work at several charity events and have met top chefs including the Tanner Brothers, Michel Roux Jr and Prue Leith.

“Because of this experience of the industry, I know that I want to specialise in front of house hospitality.

“I have been lucky enough to secure an advanced apprenticeship at BR6 Restaurant and Bakehouse and am now helping to train new students. Every day is different and I am really enjoying it.”

Ruth Gilbert, CEO of the Career Colleges Trust, said: “It is clear from this research that today’s teenagers are desperate for good work experience opportunities and are very much aware of the benefit this will have on their future career.”

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