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Statement on Virtual Work Experience: June 2021.

Since 2008 we have delivered best in class work-related learning experiences and comprehensive careers provision to students. However, moving quickly to a virtual model in March 2020 was no easy task. As the most extensive Education Business Partnership in the U.K, we have an unparalleled commitment to driving standards across the board. We responded swiftly to the ever-changing landscape, and in collaboration with you, our valued partners, we threw our hat in the ring and launched a virtual work experience programme.

Twelve months down the line, we have questioned whether or not Virtual Work Experience exists. Whether national programmes, including ours, should have been better branded as career insight days or employability sessions to help manage clients’ and student expectations. The notion of Virtual Work experience suggests it is a substitute for the real thing, but the real thing can never be replicated.

My fellow company director and co-founder, Stephen Hackney, recently shared his views on this matter in conversation with our designated programme host Amos Madra; you can view the snippet by clicking here.

Like you and many businesses worldwide, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on our operations. Moving quickly to a virtual model during the pandemic threw up many roadblocks for us. We will learn quickly from the errors we have made. We have made plenty. We welcome feedback, and the feedback we have received from all our partners continues to inform our programmes and operations. I wish to share some of the measures we have recently taken below,

We have reinstated our general enquiries telephone number. You will be able to reach us without having to leave a message first or send an email.

We have also invested significantly in the student-facing app and associated software platform, providing you with the tools to access certificates and run reports on programme engagement.

A key ingredient of our programme, to ensure Gatsby compliance, is providing written feedback on all project briefs submitted by your students. We are currently working hard on this with our employers. All project grades, associated employer feedback, programme engagement, including certificates for all students, will be delivered to you before the last day of the summer term.

I again apologise for the delay in delivering feedback to you. Our operations and those of our employers have also been severely hampered by the pandemic.

I hope our valued clients agree that COV-19 has thrown challenges in everyone’s direction. We did not foresee having to move classic work experience online for nearly two years. My team and I cannot wait to return to traditional placements from September 2021, something we have done incredibly well since 2008. Please rest assured that my team remains hard at work liaising with leading employers to build high-quality content for your students. We have invested significantly in our associated programme resources to ensure you are provided with all the answers to run your programme successfully.

As a valued client, you are welcome to reach out to me personally to discuss any aspect of our programmes. Please respond to my email, and a member of my team or I will happily schedule a call with you.


Matthew Hodgkinson

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