Unite Foundation

Building Communities Through Work Experience

As part of our campaign to support Estranged Students Solidarity Week, we touched on the subject of the transition out of university and into the big wide world. We recognise that this is a challenging time for a lot of our scholars and aware that the safety net that university provides can be taken away from under you quite quickly.

It’s a tricky time – not all young people leave university and get a graduate level jobs – underemployment, part-time employment and zero hours contracts are national issues and the education sector as a whole is looking for ways to support skills development, employability and improve post-graduate outcomes.

We’re really proud to be working with Glide who are supporting us in this area by offering summer employment for some of our scholarship students, the initiative ran for the first time this year and will run again next year, following its success. We learned some really important things in our first year working together:

  • Conversational, not competitive, interviews are more accessible and set the tone for work as learning
  • Separate contacts for supervision and social contact is a great way of helping our students settle into their job
  • Life skills are just as important as technical skills so coaching around timekeeping and communication really adds value
  • Explicitly building content for a CV entry provides focus and gives another tangible reward
  • Proactively welcoming young people into a role, however short term, builds a sense of belonging and personal value

Glide made a brilliant effort to support and build a connection with the young people who joined them for the summer and really helped them to embed themselves into Glide’s community; the CEO personally met with and welcomed each person into the business and everyone who worked through the summer was been invited to the staff Christmas party this month.

There is a big difference between a summer job and a Unite Foundation career coaching opportunity, and we want to say a huge THANK YOU to Glide for their support and efforts in welcoming our scholars and equipping them with such valuable work and life skills. We’ll be advertising their roles for next summer very soon.