Work experience success for Sandwell students

Over the last 12 months The Public in West Bromwich have welcomed over 110 students on work experience placements from across Sandwell and surrounding regions.

The Public

The Public

The excellent programme co-ordinated through The Public’s Learning Team aims to provide young learners with a high quality experience that enhances their lives and gives them a platform to develop skills and opportunities.

Sandwell Academy is just one of the education institutions that have sent several students on work experience placements to the Black Country venue. Two year 11 pupils from the Academy, Jodane Walters aged 15 and Lewis Matthews aged 16 were so pleased with their work experience they wanted to share their stories.

Both Jodane and Lewis were on work experience at The Public 3 – 7 October 2011 in the Facilities team. Both had the opportunity to work with the team and gain experience of the IT, audio visual and technical requirements of running the building. Jodane is interested in working in web design and Lewis would like to become a video game programmer.

The Facilities team at The Public are responsible for running the gallery network that operates the digital and interactive exhibitions and also the IT systems that support the day-to-day running of the computer network that is used by staff.

Lewis and Jodane were delighted when they were given the opportunity to gain hands on practical work experience in an area of interest to them.

Jodane Walters said: “I wanted to do work experience at The Public as I think it’s a good place to work that would be good for my CV. The staff in the Facilities Team were really supportive, I felt like a member of the team and got the chance to help with some of the events and conferences.

“I enjoyed it and loved the modern working environment. The experience I have gained has given me more drive and a clear mind of what I want to do.”

The Public believe it’s important to give young people the chance to learn and develop practical skills to help them in the world of work. A work experience placement in the Facilities team is just one of the areas available to students.

Lewis Matthews said: “What stood out for me was the amount I learnt and experienced!  I knew I wanted to do video gaming but didn’t know about the different aspects of IT. It’s taken away the curiosity for me and confirmed my interest in video gaming.

“I would say to students interested in a career in IT that The Public is a good place to go, it’s interesting and you learn a lot from the experience.”

Michelle Smith, Curriculum Development/Industrial Consultant from Sandwell Academy has been working with The Public’s Learning Team for two years and has referred 17 students on work experience placements. Michelle is keen on students gaining an insight into industry and believes it is important for students to make the most of the opportunities available to help them develop and improve their skills and experiences.

Michelle said: “The Public is a significant building in Sandwell and we want to make links in Sandwell and raise the aspirations of students in Sandwell and the community. I love the way that Andy Fowles, the Learning Co- ordinator tailors work experience to suit the needs of the students, in terms of the skills they need to improve or the areas they want to gain experience in.”

Linda Saunders, Managing Director for The Public added: “The Public’s work experience offer is about enhancing future workforces in the West Midlands. We are committed to providing our placements with the best experience we can, and give responsibilities that further develop their prospects.”

If you would like to find out more about work experience opportunities for your students, please contact The Public Learning Team on 0121 533 7161 or visit