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Chestertons News 29 January 2020

Chestertons’ Work Experience Hub

Chestertons has partnered with youth charity, Rugby Portobello Trust (RPT), to launch a ‘Work Experience Hub’ which aims to provide work experience opportunities for young people in London by appealing to its clients, suppliers and partners to get involved.

The Work Experience Hub will work by collecting work experience opportunities from individuals and companies, and then passing these on to relevant charities to match the opportunities with young people that are in need of ‘real-world’ work experience; but are not able to access this through their own schools.

If you feel your place of work would be open to offering work experience placements, please let us know here.

Chestertons has run several work experience placements with RPT over recent years, the details of which can be seen below.

Leone Buncombe, Service Manager at Rugby Portobello Trust, one of the largest youth charities in central London, explains “Over the last 3-5 years, schools have stopped including work experience as a standardised part of the year 10 curriculum and this is depriving many young people of the opportunity of getting out into the ‘working world’ and gaining real, hands-on experience in functioning work spaces, surrounded by professionals. These experiences are generally hugely positive and play a pivotal part in shaping not only the employment and training prospectus’ of young people, but also their confidence levels.”

“Work experience is a powerful tool that opens doors for young people who are motivated, sometimes confused, passionate and open to learn. In some sense, for many it will be more valuable than the five years they spend at secondary school or even in further education because it will lead to actual employment and provide real skills that employers can respect from a candidate. Too many of the young people we work with are funnelled through education and end up in jobs they have no interest in but take because they need to pay bills because they have been unable to access careers in the industries they are genuinely passionate about. With your help we can make positive impacts on many more young lives, channelling positive and vibrant energy into amazing opportunities.”

Case studies:

Placement 1:

  • Ryan* was a long standing member of RPT’s youth club and was determined to establish his own fashion brand. Giles Milner, Marketing Director at Chestertons, met with him on various occasions as a mentor, giving him advice and guidance on his ideas and focused his talks on the business and marketing side so Ryan could establish what his company would be/look like. Ryan proved to be self-motivated and developed tremendous networking skills, which led him to meet with the Buying and Merchandising Director and Menswear Buyer at Selfridges; who included his line in the menswear room at its London flagship store.

Placement 2:

  • Nathan* was a confident but introverted young man who was recognised by RPT to be very intelligent. He had finished school and college with good grades but was not sure how to approach the pathway he wanted to follow; and ended up for a period doing nothing. He had clear goals to work towards, which included gaining employment and learning how to drive so he could work in an estate agency. With this information, we put him in touch with Chestertons so he could gain some experience in the field. He was well received and completed his work experience with our marketing team – which was the first time he had anything which he could add to his CV. Feeling more confident after his placement, he applied and gained employment, working his way up to supervisor within 6 months and also gained his driving licence. He has since gained a better understanding of the career he would like to follow, and has moved up again in his professional career, working in the sales team with Range Rover.

Placement 3:

  • Sam* was attending RPT’s youth club aged 21 and had just completed a degree in graphic design, but was struggling to find employment in this field or any forms of employment at the time. Chestertons offered him a placement within the marketing team to gain some relevant experience with our in-house designers, and was given support in developing his CV and portfolio, so he was ready to interview in his desired role. As part of his experience within the team, Sam was tasked with capturing photographs of street art across London. These pictures were then featured in a magazine titled ‘Chestertons’ Hidden London Urban Art’. It was distributed to clients and something Sam was able to use as part of his portfolio. His work experience placement meant that Sam had gained the skills needed and has a portfolio of work that he showcases, relevant to a role as a graphic designer.

*Names changed for privacy.