Work experience is an integral part of any student’s education. It provides them an opportunity to reflect on their own development and gives exposure to career options, the work place environment and networking. But what’s in it for the company? Anita Power, HR Manager, Dulux Paints shares her views on providing Student Work Experience.
Anita Power thinks it’s as advantageous to Dulux as the students. “At Dulux Paints Ireland Limited we endeavor to support our local communities through our employees giving back to projects by giving their time and expertise with particular emphasis in the area of education programmes. Business in the Community’s Skills @ Work programme fits these criteria exactly and it is a programme that our employees have enthusiastically embraced.”
As part of Dulux’s participation in the Skills @ Work programme, they have offered 2 weeks paid work experience to four students from their partnering schools North Presentation SS in Cork City for the last 12 years & Greenhills College in Dublin 12 for the last 9 years. That’s 42 young people who have benefited from substantial, practical and paid work experience at a time when it’s most pivotal. The students know at the outset of the Skills @ Work programme that there are 2 places on offer to the students who really try and make the most out of the programme, as well as the interviews. Over the years some work placement students have even gone back to Dulux to do holiday cover. For all of them the experience has been a landmark for what they do next in their career journey.
“The Mock Interview module is a great learning experience for the students and as a company we decided to encourage and reward the students’ engagement in the programme further by offering paid summer work placement. We were delighted to be able to facilitate summer work placement for students from North Presentation SS and Greenhills College each summer and we are proud that over forty students have been accommodated over the past 12 years. Through the work placement we were able to widen the number of employees who have able to engage in the programme.”
So would Anita recommend offering work experience as part of the Skills @ Work programme?
“It has given employees an opportunity for personal and professional development to apply and develop their skills in the community and to be involved in a worthwhile and rewarding project. For the students it is has given them a real life experience of applying for an actual job role and going through a competitive interview process. The best reward to the company in offering the work placement is the impact it has on the students, giving them an insight into the world of work and it is encouraging to see how their confidence transforms during their two weeks placement.”