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Work experience is an essential part of any young person's career journey, providing a valuable opportunity to gain practical skills and insights into the world of work. However, for young people from underrepresented backgrounds, accessing meaningful work experience can be challenging. Despite progress in recent years, there is still a significant gap in opportunities for young people from different ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds whom Creative Tuition serve. As someone on the path towards a Chemistry PhD in STEM, I can attest to the importance of work experience in shaping my aspirations and path towards my dream career. This highlights the importance of Springpod, a virtual platform that helps young people gain the work experience they need to strive towards a career that inspires them. In this article, I will delve into the importance of providing work experience to individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, and how Springpod is meeting this need by offering young people access to opportunities with major employers at zero cost and high value.

Image of Springpod and Creative Tuition Logos. The springpod logo is a cartoon of a rocket, whilst the Creative Tuition logo is a cartoon of an open book with leaves, DNA, lightbulb, LGBTQ+ flag, Black Lives Matter Fist and the words "Innovative and Inclusive Education"

Why is work experience so important?

Work experience can be a transformative experience for young people, providing them with an opportunity to develop new skills, build confidence, and learn about different industries and careers. For young people from underrepresented backgrounds, this experience can be particularly significant. It can provide

students with a valuable network of contacts, help them to gain a better understanding of the job market, and increase their chances of securing future employment by allowing young people to overcome barriers such as a lack of experience or qualifications.

Image of a smiling teacher looking at a laptop with a whiteboard in the background

Springpod has revolutionized the way

young people can explore their career options . The platform offers a range of career options and work experience courses that would have been invaluable to me when I was starting out and continue to be relevant today. By collaborating with top corporations such as Thames Water, Vodafone, Network Rail, and North East & North Cumbria ICB, as well as providing their own business management course, young students have access to an array of options right at their fingertips. The best part is that these experiences typically last around 10 hours over 6 weeks, giving students the chance to try out multiple opportunities and gather the information they need to make informed career decisions.

The platform offers more than just work experience; it also includes a vital series called "Subject Spotlights". Let’s bring it back to school, in the UK, students from all backgrounds must decide on the subjects they wish to study from a young age - a daunting task for many. At 13-14 years old, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and certainly didn't see myself as a scientist, believing that I had to be like Einstein to succeed in that field. Subject Spotlights consists of mini-lectures that allow young people to gain a taste of what studying different degrees at university would be like, providing them with a chance to try before they apply. This gives students an accurate and representative impression of what pursuing a subject at university entails, allowing them to make informed choices and stand out from the competition.

Why we are highlighting Springpod in British Science Week 2023?
Image of three students in a science lab with colourful test tubes and conical flasks

Listening to the student stories it is evident Springpod empowers young people to take control of their future by allowing them to envision their future more clearly which aligns with our mission. Through offering such opportunities to the CTC cohort, our goal is to increase their confidence in selecting their A level and further education choices, as well as ignite their passion for a field they may find enjoyable.

The student reviews speak for themselves:
Image of two older students in an Engineering lab

"Thank you so much to those of you who were involved in creating this programme. It was really interesting to gain an insight into the different sectors each of you are involved in. I really enjoyed grasping an understanding of the qualities best suited to each role and enjoyed listening to the career pathways each professional took on the webinars."

- Amy

"Thank you so much for putting this all together! You've given me information I never knew and boosted my confidence with the knowledge I knew already. I have a clearer view of my road ahead and how I will achieve it, so thank you again for this great opportunity

- Denis

Springpod serves as an excellent steppingstone towards finding in-person work experience, a goal that Creative Tuition hopes to facilitate through partnerships with local and national STEM partners. By continuing to highlight and collaborate with Springpod, we aim to equip the next generation of young people with the knowledge and experience they need to succeed in their careers.

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