Work Inspiration | Business in the Community Northern Ireland

Work Inspiration works with employers to develop quality, interactive experiences of work to help young people develop skills for the workplace, and make more informed subject and career choices.

We help design and manage work experience for companies whilst helping ensure students can secure ‘experiences of work’ relevant to their vocational interests and career aspirations.

Speak to us about how we can help you develop work placements, open days, career talks etc, including virtual activities. Lockdown and school closures during 2020 will result in many young people missing out on valuable work experience opportunities. More than ever we need employers to develop online work experience and useful online resources, in addition to preparing for work experience activity when it is safe to do so.

In each academic year, approximately 28,000 young people are entitled to a work experience placement as part of the entitlement framework. Evidence suggests that perhaps half do not take up the opportunity.

Employers in Northern Ireland have an important role to play in providing responsible work experience programmes to ensure the retention and development of skills and ultimately securing our future economy.

Work experience can be a life-changing experience for young people, making the world of work relevant to them and allowing them to observe the behaviours of adults in the workplace.

Benefits to Employers

  • Help to develop more meaningful work placements/inspirations and promote these to all schools for a fairer and more equitable approach
  • Relieves some of the administrative burden
  • Helps employers plan and manage their work experience provision
  • Advice offered on insurance, indemnity and health and safety issues
  • Provide advice on Child Protection to ensure staff know what is expected of them
  • Advice on school expectations of the placement or inspiration

How can you get involved

Work Inspiration offers employers three packages for work inspirations with post primary schools:

  • The Ad Hoc requests packages – Work Inspiration will make requests to employers six to eight weeks in advance. Employers then indicate whether or not they are in a position to offer work experience on these dates
  • The Static Date package – Employers set the dates on which they are available to offer work experience and Work Inspiration allocates students accordingly. The dates don’t change so organisations know exactly when to expect students.
  • The Work Inspiration Open Day or Outreach package – These can complement work experience outlined in Option 1 or 2 or can be used as an alternative. These are inspirational opportunities for students which provide an insight into a particular company or specific career sector and allow groups of interested students to attend
  • Have you an exciting idea to inspire young people, career teachers or parents? Simply get in touch and let’s discuss how we may be able to help.

Work Inspiration are currently developing a range of online and interactive tools to help inspire young people about the world of work. Schools are telling us that they really need to inspire their careers teachers and young people both now and in the future. As COVID-19 has impacted directly on physical work experience opportunities, we want to continue to inspire young people about the jobs that exist all around Northern Ireland. And we want you to be part of it.

Who could you inspire about the world of work?

We’re asking employees in businesses across NI to share their story, or record a video, telling us what they do and how they got there, and offering tips for interviews and CV development. Could you contribute?

Find out how

Other Ways of Getting Involved

We have a range of other ways to get involved with education and supporting young people, in areas such as skills development and guidance, sharing your story and exploring virtual work experience/inspiration opportunities and employers steering group.

Find out more

Please contact Joanne Mehaffy to discuss or explore your ideas or thoughts.

Some organisations use a combination of the above options