Virtual work experiences launch during lockdown

Speakers for Schools working with GBSLEP to bring opportunities to businesses and schools.

2021 is kick-starting with exciting opportunities for young people in Greater Birmingham and Solihull. Thanks to a joint venture between GBSLEP and Speakers for Schools, employers can now offer virtual work experience to the young people of Greater Birmingham and Solihull. The virtual work experience programme addresses the need for high-quality work experience, despite restrictions or lockdowns now or in the future.

Today, GBSLEP and Speakers for Schools announced they will be working together to call on business leaders in the region to offer virtual work experience placements. Webinars are to be held in February 2021 to outline how businesses and employers can get involved. The work experience programme opens the door to countless opportunities for young people while allowing employers of all sizes to grow their talent pipeline and make a difference to those who really need it.

Designed to provide eye-opening work insights for students, schools can get involved with the free programme to connect their students with top employers while they are at home.

Piloting in Birmingham in early 2021, the Youth Card app will offer an access hub of exciting opportunities and meaningful discounts. The app will be a source of virtual work experience, volunteering, learning, and personal development workshops, in addition to unlocking discounts across a range of categories to support young people and local businesses as they recover from the pandemic and beyond. Speaker for Schools is excited to be working with GBSLEP to offer this service to young people in Birmingham ahead of the national rollout later this year.

Helen Higson, Chair of the GBSLEP Employment and Skills Board said, “Our young population, particularly in Birmingham has been left exposed by Covid-19. Dwindling opportunities to gain ‘hands-on training’ with employers means many are not getting real-world experience.

“We are delighted to be working with Speakers for Schools and look forward to connecting the businesses we work with to the young people who live across our West Midlands region.

“It has never been more important to give our youth the opportunity to get work experience, albeit virtually. As a LEP we realise businesses have been working hard to survive the pandemic but it is equally important to grow a pipeline of talent as we look towards recovery. Together we can ensure this happens.”

Jason Elsom, Chief Executive Officer, Speakers for Schools added: “In an unprecedented year for schools, employers and most importantly, young people, Speakers for Schools is committed to levelling the playing field for school students of all backgrounds. This new partnership with GBSLEP will enable us to work closely with schools and leading companies across the region to provide life-changing opportunities for young people.

“The Youth Card helps to level the playing field for young people giving them the opportunity to explore the world of work and get money off the products and services which can help them along the way. Partnering with secondary schools in Birmingham is an important stage in the app’s development and we hope that young people in the region will find it beneficial and easy to use.”

If you are a local business, school or young person and would like to get involved contact or to book a place for webinars visit gbslep.