The team here have been joined by a young lad called Jamie for the last two weeks. Jamie's 15 and is with Royal Liver for two weeks work experience.
Now my perception of work experience is probably tarnished from the days when I was in my final year of school.
Some of my mates went to work on YTS schemes... remember them? If you don’t, they were a way for people leaving school to supposedly learn a trade. In reality though, they were garbage. The companies my mates went to work for had them doing things like photocopying and making the tea…general dogsbody type stuff…where you don’t learn anything useful. One mate spent a year making cardboard boxes for god’s sake – how can that ever help him get a proper job?
So when Jamie came to the office on his first day my first thought was…how can we give him something useful? Something that he can use that he wouldn’t get in school? Or with other companies? When I asked him what he wanted to get out of the two weeks, he said he’d like to learn about websites, how we make them, how we manage them, and online stuff.
So in Jamie’s first week, he’s been through our website and done a review of it (this was good – at this point he knew little about financial services…so he could tell us if we used any jargon or language that people new to the industry wouldn’t understand).
He’s also reviewed other companies’ websites to compare ours against theirs…helping him understand that every website (and company behind it) is different…some are good, whilst some are not as good…
He’s learned lots of things about web usability and how websites can be made, and managed, in-house at very little cost, without any paper (yes – compliance people everywhere beware – paper is out).
Plus I’ve also tried to give him some help with understanding what his talents are and what jobs he could do in future that help him play to his strengths – something that should really be taught at school…but isn’t. Yet.
So when Jamie goes back to school, he’ll have learnt things that he wanted to learn. He hasn’t made us any tea and he hasn’t done any photocopying. He does know how an online marketing team works though…
So when he gets asked “What do you want to do when you grow up a bit and leave school?”, he might have some views…he might even want to work with websites…and he might just have a better view of what financial services can be like as an industry…which brings me back to the headline.
When I was in school, and we were asked what we’d like to do when we leave, no-one in the class said “work in financial services”. It can be a dull industry…but it can also be quite cool at times too…depending on what you do in it. Maybe if our industry took things like work experience more seriously we could change the view of financial services for the next generation of employees – and they just might want to work with us more?
Andy Milburn is IFA Market Manager for progress from Royal Liver
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of IFAonline or Incisive Media.IFAonline
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