Last year, the government scrapped work experience in schools and, unsurprisingly, nobody was over the moon about it. According to a new survey, nine out of 10 of you think it should be made compulsory again – and a lot of people agree.

Self confidence was the main thing you feel is holding you back from getting a job, found the survey, carried out by Barclay’s LifeSkills Youth Barometer. This isn’t surprising considering work experience certainly helps build confidence about the world of work, and now it’s no longer happening.

“This is a generation which is ambitious, wants to be successful when leaving school but recognises it will go into one of the most competitive job markets of recent times,” said a spokesperson for LifeSkills. “Young people know they need to translate the skills they’ve learnt in school into those that are attractive to employers and want quality work experience to help them.”

Last month, at the Youth Unemployment Convention, one of the main issues was the lack of work experience in schools; without it, how are you supposed to go into your first job, with no idea what to expect? Jane Bennett from the Forum of Private Business (who were dead set against the government’s decision) agrees: “There’s no better place than a proper working environment to test out a career choice, and it’s also by far the best arena for young adults to learn the skills so critical to success”.

While everyone waits for the government to realise their massive mistake, you need to start taking it into your own hands. Don’t wait until you’ve finished school, college or uni and are thrown into the world of work with little to no experience; have a scroll through some of our opportunities or ask a friend or family friend if you can shadow them for a day in the office – then check out our piece on how to be a good intern in order to fully prepare yourself.


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