3rd Oct, 2023

Adopting a 'CAN' do attitude to work placements

Work placements involve a short-term commitment but can result in long-term benefits for both employers and young people. This was very much the case for CAN Group, a global asset integrity services provider headquartered in Aberdeen.

Arthur Dickson CAN

For a young person, the volume of sectors, roles and pathways into careers is both a blessing and a curse. The scope of opportunities is exciting but how do you choose the right direction for you?

Gaining hands-on experience is invaluable for young people, whether they are at school or in further or higher education. And for businesses it offers an injection of fresh skills and ideas. In some cases, it may even lead to a new employee...

CAN Group, a global asset integrity services provider, actively supports and recruits young people and has recently become a Young Person's Guarantee employer.

The company provided Arthur Dickson, who is in his third year of a Masters in Mechanical Engineering, with a summer placement as a Technical Assistant at ENGTEQ, CAN Group’s Engineering Business Stream.

Arthur explains how his placement with CAN Group prompted him to reconsider his career trajectory: "Before joining this team, I was contemplating completing my education with a Bachelor's degree, however the exposure and opportunities I've encountered here have inspired me to pursue a Masters instead.

"I'm grateful for the chance to have poured my effort into this role, as it's led to the amazing news that I'll be continuing here due to the success of my placement! The transition from a summer placement to a more permanent role is so exhilarating and I'm eager to keep building my practical experience while I continue my education."

For an employer, providing young people with work experience need not be onerous. Depending on your organisation's needs and resources, you can offer one-off, half-day work tasters, a regular one-day commitment over a period of time, or a full-time block over the holiday period. If you're unsure where to start, DYW North East can talk you through the options and ensure you have all the help you need to get started. DYW also offers free employer webinars for placement supervisors, so they can ensure that the experience is meaningful for all.

And for young people? Arthur has the following words of advice: "If there's one takeaway I'd like to share with others in a similar position, it's this: don't underestimate the power of temporary roles in shaping your future.

"Every experience, no matter how short, has the potential to unlock doors you never knew existed. Thank you to the incredible team and mentors who have made this journey unforgettable.”

Additional resources

Offering work placements: A one-page guide

Work placement toolkit

Foundation Apprenticeships for employers

If your organisation would like to offer young people work experience, please drop us a line.

Get in touch with the team at info@dyw.org.uk

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