Employers, educators, parents, policy makers and other professional bodies have long recognised that work experience has a crucial part to play in helping young people prepare for the world of work. But whilst the benefits of in-person work experience have been extensively researched and documented, very little research exists to substantiate the benefits of virtual work experience to date.
In the absence of published research into the value of virtual work experience, Speakers for Schools (a UK-based organisation) has researched and written a paper that can serve as a first step toward establishing a reliable evidence base to determine the value of virtual work experience.
Following detailed analysis of qualitative data in the form of video feedback submitted between 18 February 2021 and 17 March 2022 by 202 young people who attended virtual work experience placements through the charity, this paper seeks to add to the evidence base that virtual work experience can deliver many of the same proven key benefits found to be associated with in-person employer engagement.
The key findings were:
- Young people value virtual work experience as a way to learn about different opportunities within a business.
- Virtual work experience helps young people to build essential skills such as teamwork and presentation skills.
- Virtual work experience builds self-efficacy and confidence.