Work Experience Week

This year saw the first work experience week held at Queen Alexandra College (QAC) in conjunction with NATSPEC and Fair Train. It's intention was to raise the profile and importance of work experience to both student's and employers. Over 12 organisations got involved with the week including Hobby Craft, Alexander Mann, National Grid, Cadbury's, the BBC, Halfords, Sport Birmingham, Sampad and The Big Lottery Fund. Several employees from each organisation visited a variety of the vocational groups to include Sport, Health & Social Care, IT, Art and Creative Media delivering a variety of presentations on the type of work carried out, the importance of interview skills, writing a good CV and top interview tips.

Rebecca Ellis from the Big Lottery Fund commented "We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The warm welcome received from the staff and students on arrival at the college was lovely. It was great to see the enthusiasm showed by the IT students during both sessions. We hope that the presentation gave the students an insight into the functions of the Fund's IT Helpdesk and helped them to think about a possible career route into IT."

student using BBC camera

The BBC also took part in the week, bringing some of the cameras for the students to handle. Rani , HR Business Partner – BBC English Regions, commented, “We were invited to come along to the college to speak to students on interview skills, techniques, expectations from an employer’s perspective and what opportunities/job roles we had in our organisation etc. I must say, I found the whole experience very rewarding both personally and professionally. It was so lovely to be able pass on information about the BBC to the students who were all very engaging and interested in the media. They asked lots of questions, which is always encouraging because you know they have taken on board what you’ve said and want to know more and they actively took part in operating the camera equipment we brought along.”

The Fire Service from WoodgateValley also joined in, arriving with their fire engine and engaging with the students, letting them sit on the truck and wear some of the protective clothing. Kerenza Palmer, Employment Pathway Manager at QAC confirmed that "the week has been a great success. It has been invaluable for the students to meet a variety of different employers who have been generous with their time and advice to our students on various aspects related to work experience." Staff and students have also fully embraced the week, ensuring that sessions have a work experience focus, maths sessions focused on wage slips, salaries etc. Various groups took part in internal work placements such as animal care, cleaning in the college canteen, and retail activities to promote the various work skills. To finish the week the Hospitality group will be spending the morning at The Big Lottery Fund selling cup cakes to the staff.

For further information about the work placement provision at QueenAlexandraCollege please contact Kerenza Palmer on 0121 4285055