Employer case study
If you run a small business that cares about its local community and wants to help young people kickstart their careers, then we want to hear from you!
T Level Gateway is a free service, commissioned by the Department for Education, that supports employers to offer work experience to young people studying new, practical, courses called T Levels.
In this blog post, we talk to Carina, from Steven Burgin Hairdressing, to learn about her company’s experience…
Steven Burgin Hairdressing talks to T Level Gateway
Steven Burgin Hairdressing contacted T Level Gateway to learn more about offering work experience to T Level students and whether this was something they could support. The T Level Gateway employer engagement team went through the costs and benefits, gave suggestions of the type of tasks Steven Burgin Hairdressing could offer, before putting the salon in touch with students desperate for a work experience opportunity.
Why were you initially interested in offering work experience to a T Level student?
“We were emailed about T Levels and realised we could help a local young person gain real hands-on insight into the world of work in our salon. We wanted to help an individual who was passionate about customer care, hard working and keen to hone their customer service skills.
“After talking to the T Level Gateway team we realised we could offer receptionist and administration tasks to a business admin T Level student. Someone who could meet and greet customers, answer enquiries over the phone and via email and just make people feel comfortable in the salon.”
Did the placement go to plan?
“Yes! After the setup and interview stage, I had a student with me one afternoon a week and really enjoyed the experience. He was helpful in so many ways and took some of the workload of my plate.
“Ben was keen to show an interest in our industry, which he was completely new to, and did a great job of greeting clients and helping them feel welcome at our salon.
“As a small business, we could also offer insight into how the business worked which I think he found really valuable. For example, we had a session analysing reports and finances to give him more understanding of what happens behind the scenes.
“Ben has also been a great help with rewriting our staff handbook and other small administrative tasks, under supervision.
“In conclusion, I thought the sign-up process to offer a T Level student work experience with us was easy, straightforward and worth the effort. I am sure he got a great deal from the placement too and will do well in his future career.”
T Level industry placement basics
T Levels are the equivalent to three A Levels, but focus more on work skills than theoretical concepts. Students must do an industry placement as part of their course.
Similar to the Kickstart scheme, a Traineeship or an Internship, ultimately T Level industry placements allow you to offer work to a committed young person for an extended period of time:
- Industry placements last approx 45 days – so you get someone in your business for a good chunk of time
- There is no expectation to pay wages, but a contribution to lunch and travel goes a long way
- There is funding available to support employers with onboarding costs
- The young people want to work. You get to interview them too!
Lots of employers involved talk about short-term and long-term benefits.
Short-term: If you have jobs that you never have time to do, like schedule social media posts or tidying up your CRM or mailing list – you could use an industry placement student to help you whilst giving them really rewarding work experience. Likewise, they could take the pressure off your existing staff by picking up emails and customer calls.
Long-term: If you struggle to fill your entry-level roles, T Level industry placements are perfect for setting up a talent pipeline, showcasing your roles and business to young people and offering the best students jobs at the end of their studies.