How can young people gain work experience over the summer?

The summer holidays can be an ideal opportunity for young people to get work experience. Whether you already know what career you’d like to pursue or are weighing your options, work experience is a great starting point. From volunteering to finding a summer job, developing your skills and gaining experience is vital to staying ahead of the curve.

The Families Programme supports young people (aged 16-24) who have at least one parent who has served or still serves in the British military. Employment advisors can connect young people to events, further training, and employment opportunities. The charity offers an array of events, resources, and advice to help you kickstart your career!

Top tips for finding volunteering or work experience

Sian Kerr, a young person’s employment advisor, offers her advice on how young people can find work experience this summer. She says:

Search your local high street

As a first port of call talk to local charity shops, as they often take on volunteers. Alternatively, if you are aiming for industry-specific experience, contact local businesses. So many jobs never get advertised. Approaching businesses speculatively to offer your services is a great habit to develop.

Look at noticeboards

Shops such as newsagents, supermarkets, libraries, and community centres often have noticeboards. You can scour them for the latest vacancies in your area. Facebook groups are also a great place to start finding opportunities.

Join local groups

Most areas have local interest groups, and many need volunteers to support their activities. Consider your hobbies and interests when searching for groups. Finding scout/guide groups in your area is a good starting point.

Let job sites do the hard work for you

Many job sites include volunteering opportunities. Try searching for volunteer roles on sites such as Indeed, Charity Job, and Youth Capital. Also, Youth Employment can help you find local volunteering opportunities and work experience.

Volunteer with a charity

Many charities are always looking for volunteer support. Think about what interests or excites you. Then narrow down your choices by researching local initiatives or groups. Next, contact them to see if they have opportunities in your area. You can look for volunteer work experience with the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA) or the Royal Voluntary Service. Alternatively you can gain virtual work experiences with providers like Hundo or Forage.

Stay ahead of the competition

Talk to your school’s careers department about finding work experience before you break up for the summer holiday. Teachers and advisors may have connections to summer jobs, volunteering, or other opportunities. Make the most of the people around you including your parents, siblings, and friends they may be able to help.

Be prepared

Before you start applying for work experience or volunteer work, prepare by writing a CV. Many organisations will ask you to provide a CV so they can understand who you are. Register with us today for resources, guidance, and support from an employment advisor.

How does the Forces Employment Charity support young people?

By registering with the Families Programme, young people are paired with an employment advisor who can assist them in crafting their first CV, discovering local opportunities, and broadening their career aspirations.

One such success story involves a military child who registered with the Families Programme. Initially, she had a basic CV, which her advisor helped enhance. Despite her best efforts, she was unsuccessful in securing paid roles. Her advisor then recommended that she look for volunteering experience at local charity shops to strengthen her CV and learn transferrable skills.

Following this advice, she revamped her CV and successfully secured a volunteering position with Oxfam in early June. Reflecting on her experience, she said volunteering “really helped me with my customer service skills, my confidence dealing with different situations, and my efficiency.”

After completing her volunteering stint, she and her advisor reviewed and incorporated the new skills and work experiences into her CV. This thorough preparation paid off, as she subsequently secured paid employment as a food and beverage assistant at a prestigious hotel chain.

What’s the next step?

If you are a military child with at least one parent who has served or still serves in the Armed Forces, register with us today! Make the most of the summer holidays to gain work experience, develop new skills, and broaden your support network. Our employment advisors are here to help you kickstart your employment journey.

Want to hear about our programmes, partnerships, events and ways that we could support you?