Students gain valuable experience at local businesses

Year 10 students at Ark William Parker Academy were given the opportunity to gain valuable work experience at businesses in the local area.  With the help of funding from the Hastings Opportunity Area, 63 students participated in a week that enabled them to gain an insight of the world of work.

Planning for this week started in September when students were given the option of finding their own placement or choosing from the East Sussex County Council’s database of businesses.

Once placements were confirmed, the boys had to use their communication skills to contact their employers regarding information about the week.

The students worked and carried out a variety of tasks at businesses across a range of different sectors including construction, retail, leisure and sport. They were able to gain and develop several employability skills such as communication, teamwork, organisation, being reliable and problem solving.

Mr Morris, the school’s Careers Lead, who organised the work experience said “The week was a real success; it was great to see our students gain new skills and get a feel of what it is like to be in a job.

“During the week, we visited our students in their places of work; the feedback from the employers was extremely positive with many saying that the students were a real credit to the school.”

“On behalf of the school and the students, I would like to thank all of the employers who hosted the students, they are: 1066 Bakery, Active Hastings, Apollo Motor Group, Ark Blacklands Primary Academy, Ark Little Ridge Primary Academy, Ashdown Hurrey, Booker and Best, Boom Active, Boots, C Brewer and Sons, Carr Taylor Vineyards, CEX Ltd, Christine’s Bakery, CK Developments, Hastings Job Centre, Eldridges, Famous Collectables, Freedom Leisure (Summerfields, Falaise Health and Fitness, Rye Sports Centre, Bexhill Leisure Centre and Bexhill Leisure Pool), Gibbons, Mannington and Phipps, Jerwood Gallery Café, KC Computers, Leaders Engineering, Link Signs, Manning Duffe Architects, Marks and Spencer, Marshall Tufflex, MHA Richmond, Northiam Diary, Pawfect Pooch Salon, Rainbows, Ridge West Garage, RJM Construction, RSPCA (Mallydams), S&T Windows, Santander, Hastings United FC/ Skiltek, Southern Energy Solutions, Station Plaza Fitness, Summerfield Gymnastics Club, Tesco Express Ore, The Hastings Centre, The Italian Way, The Source Park, White Rock Hotel and WHSmith.”

The students did really well and below are a few quotes from employers:

  •  “I would class Harry's week as a huge success, he was a great help to us and I would have no hesitation in offering Harry a job if he changed his mind on his chosen career path.” WHSmith, Hastings.
  • “We are delighted that both Ollie and Alex found the experience rewarding and helped them gain a greater awareness of the working world. Both were a delight to work with, their engagement and contribution during their week with us helped make the whole experience a successful one for all.” Marshall Tufflex.
  • “I have had nothing but excellent feedback from our staff about how hard-working and willing Harvey was whilst he was here with us at Bexhill Leisure Centre.” Bexhill Leisure Centre

Student quotes:

  • Joey said “Work experience was great. It was good to see into the life of a hard working tradesman, with early wake-ups, 9 hour working days and constant physical labour.”
  • Billy said “I really enjoyed the work experience week because I managed to work with people that I had never met before. I have found that it has opened my options about working within this sector.”
  • Jack said “I personally thought that work experience was very beneficial. I was able to learn what working in a job would be like and gave me an insight into what working with computers would be like. I was able to be more responsible and was trusted with jobs that genuinely helped the business. It has made me seriously consider a job in computing.”
  • Stuart said “Overall, my work experience went well. Finding out more about banking and how to deal with customers will certainly help me later in life. Work experience has opened new opportunities for me and has given me an idea on the career path that I desire to take after finishing education.”
  • Myles said “I really enjoyed work experience because it gave me an in-depth insight into working life. It allowed me to interact with the community. I was able to make and serve hot food. My favourite part was learning to make different hot drinks.”
  • Jack said “My work experience was one of the best school experiences that I have had. As a year 10 student, it is best to know what career you want to do after school and work experience helps you to get an idea of these career choices. This was an experience not to be missed.”
  • Henry said “I really enjoyed work experience because it gave me a perspective on what working life is really like. It taught me lots of skills such as communication and hard work. Doing work experience helped me to decide what profession I want to go into.”
  • Tom said “Work experience was a massive change for me. I worked with an engineering business and had longer hours. I have learnt many new skills that I probably wouldn’t have been able to learn in class. It has helped me to realise what the real world is like and has prepared me for my future.”

Take a look at this work experience photo album created by Year 10 student.