A scheme to provide students with work skills has enjoyed early success.
Kirklees College and Huddersfield-based recruitment company Stafflex set up KC Works in February to offer students the chance to get work experience with local firms and help the companies train staff for the future.
The scheme gives employers the opportunity to “try before they buy” by taking on prospective employees for work experience to see if it works out first. It also gives students a better understanding of individual organisations and the workplace – giving them valuable employability skills for when they leave college to work.
KC Works has already seen students gain permanent work positions and voluntary roles within several organisations.
Plastic injection moulder Fisher Plastics, based in Meltham, has given jobs to two students after taking them on work experience placements.
Managing director Jeff Monks has used Stafflex for several years for temporary contracts at the firm – and Stafflex suggested he consider KC Works.
Fisher Plastics took business student Matthew Armitage, 19, from Cowlersley, and engineering student Connor Hanson, 17, of Berry Brow, on work placements – and was so impressed the firm offered them both permanent roles.
Said Mr Monks: “We were looking for the right calibre of student to get a successful mix of people for the business – students who we could train and develop to become an integral to the future of the company. We found both students were keen, motivated and interested in what we were doing here and in a short period of time they have blended in well with the people who are here. We want them to be part of our future, so for us it has been really successful.”
Matthew, who is working as a production operator, said: “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to work in an office or do something with my hands and I’ve had the chance to try both here. I’ve really enjoyed my experience so far and want to progress further in the business.”
Connor said: “I definitely want to do something in engineering, but the placement has shown me some of the roles I could do such as tool setters and tool makers. There are lots of different routes I could go down.”
Business administration student Nicole Jowett, 19, of Halifax, completed an eight-week placement with Weir Valves and Controls Ltd in Elland. She now has a job with another company, but found the work experience at Weir Vales helped her to increase her skills.
Jude Flatley, KC Works project manager for Kirklees College, said: “We are delighted with the success that we’ve already had through KC Works. We’re getting great feedback from the companies we’re working with, which means we’re getting the fit right between the organisations and the young people we place in them. Hopefully, this is just the beginning and we will have lots more success to come."
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