The IoD Jersey Industry sub-committee has developed an accredited internship scheme for 16 to 18 year-olds aimed at awarding them for core skills gained through paid work experience in the hospitality and retail sectors.
The accredited scheme has been developed to help bridge the Island’s skills gap, assist the hospitality and retail sectors in challenging times, and give young people core skills to assist their future careers in any industry.
In partnership with Jersey Business, Skills Jersey, Victoria College, and Haute Vallee, a pilot scheme was launched earlier this year with Year 11 pupils at these two secondary schools and a select number of employers. The scheme will now be open to all year 11 students and above in the Island.
A recent IoD survey found that over 9 out of 10 of its members had worked in hospitality or retail at some point in their early careers. Both industries can provide the foundation for any career through the core skills that are learnt on the job in five key areas, namely: teamwork, adaptability, communication, self-leadership, and digital literacy. Essential skills that are not easily taught in the classroom environment but are sought by future employers.
Vice Chair of IoD Jersey, Simon Soar, said the pilot scheme had been a huge success: “We looked at the McKinsey research to determine the skills required for our current and future workplaces. They identified 56 foundational skills which are associated with a higher likelihood of employment, higher incomes, and job satisfaction. We used those as the basis for the scheme. This isn’t about getting youngsters to join hospitality or retail necessarily, it’s about skilling up for any future career. I have to thank the IoD Jersey Industry Sub-Committee and, in particular, Alex Ruddy, for all the hard work they have put into this scheme, their dedication to helping young people and industry has been exceptional.”
Applicants will need to complete a minimum of 100 hours work over no less than five weeks, with a participating employer and will take up the advertised roles as they would with any part-time employment. The employer will certify that they have achieved the various required skillsets, and IoD Jersey will issue a certificate to the participant on completion, which can then be detailed on their CV.
Longueville Manor took part in the pilot scheme and Tina Pannenborg, HR Manager, said they will continue to support it: “We advertised through the IoD internship for a hall porter vacancy and filled the position with two brilliant candidates. The intern recruits had excellent communication skills and excelled in their roles, with great feedback from our team members and guests alike regarding their work and passion about Jersey. They have gone on to be permanent employees at the weekend whilst studying for their A levels.
“The internship is a great way to encourage young people to not only gain valuable skills for their future, but to also spark a passion for the island’s hospitality industry. We will definitely use the internship for further vacancies.”
Lachlan Muir, a Victoria College participant, who worked at Longueville said the scheme has been invaluable: “Not only was the experience enjoyable and immersive through continuously meeting and working with new people, but it helped boost my confidence, particularly when it came to communicating with people.
“Another engaging aspect was the nature of the programme; by learning on the job, you are forced out of your comfort zone which although initially daunting, allowed me to pick up new communication, problem-solving and time management skills quickly. There is no sense of being confined to a classroom or curriculum, I learnt the skills simply by interacting with people on the job, both guests and colleagues, which I found to be the most rewarding feature.
“The need to write a CV also allowed me to gain an understanding of what employers are searching for and the need for concise yet convincing writing. Such skills have already proven useful both in and outside of school and will set me up extremely well for further education and work later in life.”
Gareth Hughes and Stuart Hughes, Head teachers at Victoria College and Haute Vallee respectively, said of the pilot rolled out with these two schools: “It has been a rewarding experience to work with the IoD on developing their new Internship Scheme. Providing formal means for valuable skills development in our young people is essential, and the retail and hospitality sectors offer experience in communications, teamwork, and organisation that all future employers will require in their employees. We have been delighted that both Haute Vallee and Victoria College students have benefitted from working closely with Island employers in the trial Scheme, and that the students found the experience enjoyable and fulfilling.
“We are excited to continue in this partnership work this year, and hope that we see the Scheme grow in scope to provide opportunities for more of the Island’s young people in the year ahead.”
The scheme will now be rolled-out via all schools across the Island.
The main image shows (left to right), Back: Gareth Hughes, Victoria College; Lachlan Muir, Victoria College Simon Soar, IOD Jersey; Front: Alex Ruddy, IOD Jersey Industry Sub Committee Vice Chair, Stuart Hughes, Haute Vallee.