With virtual technology taking over all aspects of life, it was only a matter of time before virtual work experience was introduced. Designed to help prepare students for the modern workplace, the virtual platform is a revolutionary step that could soon become the norm. So what is virtual work experience and is it really an effective way to introduce young people into the workplace?
Helping to develop skills of the future
The skills required by young people entering the workplace has changed dramatically over the past decade. A British Chambers of Commerce survey has recently revealed that 88% of businesses feel school leavers are not adequately prepared for the workplace. Virtual experience could be the way to eliminate this.
The Lister Community School in East London, has become one of the first schools to trial virtual work experience. Using the Lifeskills Pod developed by Barclays, students get an interactive experience as to what life is like in the workplace. They are given 10 minute tasks to complete on topics such as networking, professionalism and communicating decisions.
The pod has a virtual colleague which introduces each student to the workplace. There are five different sectors to choose from including retail and commercial, health and public services and general business. After completing the tasks, students are given a feedback certificate which shows which areas could be improved upon.
Bridging the gap
Another benefit virtual work experience brings is bridging the gap currently experienced by schools when they try to find relevant placements. Many young people also find once they are placed within a workplace, all they end up doing is making tea and not really learning anything important. It’s a common problem for schools throughout the UK so the virtual Lifeskills Pod would be a much better, more effective way to prepare for what the workplace actually entails.
Of course, it also ties in to just how important the virtual world is today. Many businesses are starting to rely more upon virtual training and meetings to save costs and produce a more flexible working environment. Therefore, it’s becoming more vital for young people to learn how to use virtual platforms before they start work.
Overall the Lifeskills Pod is paving the way for virtual work experience and it’s no doubt going to be introduced on a more permanent basis in the not too distant future.