A new campaign to boost work experience for young people in the UK has been launched by the government today (Wednesday).

Over 30 businesses and 12,000 young people have joined the ‘WE can’ campaign to provide opportunities and practical advice on securing work placements, including how to make the most of the experience.

Employment Minister Priti Patel said:

“Young people tell me they can’t get a job without work experience, but they can’t get work experience without a job.

“That is why we are launching the WE can campaign to give young people practical advice about making the most of their summer holidays – and beyond – to gain valuable business skills.

“With 14 million jobs likely to open up in the UK in the next decade, this one nation government wants young people to be at the forefront of the opportunities to get the best start in life.”

Research from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) shows that two thirds of employers consider work experience to be a crucial factor when recruiting new staff; prioritising practical experience over academic qualifications.

Launched ahead of GCSE and A-Level results from this week, the WE can campaign will be supported by up to 12,000 young people who are party of the Youth Employment UK network – led by 84 Youth Ambassadors from across the country.

These volunteers will give advice on how others can set up their own work experience placements and make the most of their time in a business setting, as the government also teams up with industry body the Recruitment and Employment Confederation to highlight the benefits of work experience.

Recruitment and Employment Confederation chief executive Kevin Green said:

“Last month, we found the number of people placed into permanent jobs via recruitment agencies increased for the thirty-fourth month in a row. But feedback from recruiters is that it’s becoming more difficult to find people with the right skills to fill the job vacancies.

“Business, government and educators must all play a part in helping young people understand the world of work so they can secure the jobs being created.

“Encouraging more young people to see the value of work experience is just the first step. That is why the Recruitment and Employment Confederation is delighted to be part of the WE can campaign.”

The campaign will encourage young people to share their experience online at #WEcan.






Steff joined the HRreview editorial team in November 2014. A former event coordinator and manager, Steff has spent several years working in online journalism. She is a graduate of Middlessex University with a BA in Television Production and will complete a Master's degree in Journalism from the University of Westminster in the summer of 2015.