- Businesses want quality because their success depends on it. This means investing in quality products, services, and staff. Similarly, for work experience placements, employers who partner with Skills4Industry invest time and effort in planning their programs in order to reach the desired standard and gain the maximum benefits. If the placement is to be a success, the following steps are necessary:
- goals and objectives
- preparation and briefing
- debriefing and evaluation
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
2. Developing a clear rationale is a prerequisite for good quality programs. Skills4Industry helps companies develop an overall policy to guide their relationship with local schools and to consider the reasons why they want to become, or remain, involved in work experience placements. These are stated clearly and developed into broad goals and specific objectives for the program based on the pre-entry level tasks concepts. Skills4Industry helps employers assess their value properly.
3. A meeting with the Skills4Industry program director or coordinator is often helpful because the meeting is used to clarify mutual goals and objectives. Possible objectives include:
- the range of tasks to be undertaken at pre-entry level by interns and a well defined set of attributes for what “as would an employee” mean by the organization’s policy, local laws, and industry best practices;
- to develop a good understanding of the purpose of the functional tasks involved in the position(s) for which the Skills4Industry personell will design the integrative competence curriculum implecations of the tasks in question and forward the same document;
- to help prepare for working life by learning to meet the appropriate standards of company behavior, for example, time keeping, dress code, personal conduct; and
- to appreciate the importance of good health, safety and welfare policy and practice.
4. Wherever possible, objectives are supported by appropriate performance targets, as this is designed to assist assessment. Skills4Industry Kit offers useful tools for the formulation of specific objectives and performance targets.
5. Staff at all levels in the organization deserve the opportunity to be involved in the development of the placement program and briefing to demonstrate their commitment to the program. Senior management is expected to give the program their positive backing, and all those likely to be directly in contact with the students must understand the purpose of the exercise to ensure the pre-entry level functional responsibilities are well aligned to the entry-levels for parity of esteem (equivalence in the value) on the experience for students and their supervisors. We ensure supervisors are provided with clear roles, what is expected of them, and expected of the work of the students. Consultation with trade unions, local chamber of commerce, and industry/sector association by Skills4Industry ensure that the program has their support, encouragement, and above all, are of standards within existing professional certifications in the industry.
6. Monitoring and evaluation of progress towards these objectives are key requirements for successful programs that are captured into Skills4Industry technology workflow to make the process unobtrusive on the jobs of supervisors, managers, and school cooperative partners. Feedback on outcomes is available on Skills4Industry resource center. Skills4Industry Kit is designed to help employers maximize staff time, integrate occupational task units into students’ academic curriculum, including helping employers to compare their estimated use of resources, particularly staff time, with actual use and outcomes in a spreadsheet provided monthly on their Skills4Industry S4iHub dashboard.
The goal is to help the planning process and evaluation to ensure program success.
7. Thorough planning and preparation ensure that work experience programs operate smoothly and efficiently. Employers are encouraged to meet a representative of Skills4Industry to agree on policy, organizational, and managerial matters. Good planning will normally mean that the details of placements are confirmed in writing to the school or college by Skills4Industry to ensure the teachers and employers are clear on the target performance assessment criteria. Such details which are captured by our technology include:
- dates and duration;
- location and hours of work;
- duties, responsibilities, tasks, and concepts of work the position covers;
- target skills, academic knowledge, Skills4Industry (life skills), and expected learning outcome;
- a set of evaluation rubric containing the standards for which students performance will be measured against;
- dress code and conduct;
- arrangements for transportation and meals;
- position regarding Employers’ Liability, Public Liability policies, and requirement for insurance;
- significant risks and control measures;
- confirmation of any mid-placement visit by Skills4Industry and possibly along with a representative of the school;
- name and telephone number of the student’s line manager;
- name and telephone number of the contact at the workplace in case of difficulties; and
- consent form completed by parents and or family members that include check box questions of known disabilities and health problems.