In the summer of 2022, we sent 30 vocational learners to Canada to undertake work placements in Vancouver.
Students were recruited from BSix College in Hackney and South Gloucestershire and Stroud (SGS) College from a range of vocational areas, including Business, Health and Social Care, Sports and Tourism. They spent a month in Vancouver, staying at student residence at the University of British Colombia.
The staff who joined the group have shared their highlights..
Participants went through a rigorous selection process, including an online interview with potential work placements, so each placement was tailored to the individual. ‘They were meaningful placements, they had proper roles and were given real responsibilities.” Nicola Smart described.
Her colleague, Philippa, went on to explain “Every single one has had the opportunity to gain experience in the field they are interested in. They now know what sports associations look like, how they work. It has broadened their understanding of the roles available in the sector.”
Participants had the opportunity to get out of the city and see the mountains and the water. “We went to Lynn Canyon. Kayaking, hiking. The Grouse grind!”
Nicola described the impact the placement had on one of her students “In Canada, a light bulb got lit. I have never seen such a change in a young person in my life. Being away from home, gaining independence, doing something he was interested in. Learning to communicate in a work setting, problem solving.”
For the group as a whole, “They have come back like different people. When you have things like this on your CV , it is life experience you wouldn’t have in classroom situation. The confidence it has given them makes students so much more employable.”
Jane, Careers and Work experience coordinator at Bsix College, shared success stories of participants who have gained employment after returning to the UK. “She got employment as soon as she came back, and was able to talk about her placement work experience abroad in her interview.”
We are delighted to be able to build on the success of this years activity, sending learners from three Colleges to undertake placements in Vancouver in 2023. Hear from participants first hand in our student stories.