Work experience to continue for MK students next year

Winners of Worktree work experience awards
Winners of Worktree work experience awards
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The future of more than 2,000 work experience placements in Milton Keynes each year will continue despite government cuts in funding, it has been announced.

Work experience services will transfer this summer from Worktree, in Witan Gate West, to Bedfordshire & Luton Education Business Partnership (Develop), a non-profit organisation based in Ampthill.

Tom Bulman, chief executive of Worktree (formerly Countec), said: “We’re very pleased with this agreement. At a time of uncertain funding, small charities must work with partners to ensure the needs of their beneficiaries are met. We know Develop are experienced, well-managed and large enough to offer real economies of scale.”

The move also works for Develop. The two organisations have worked together for more than 15 years.

Worktree has been delivering employability training services for school children and young people in Milton Keynes since 1992.

Carolyn O’Donnell, Chief Executive of Develop said: “This is an exciting opportunity for us. We offer a wide range of work-related learning services for young people and employers and look forward to maintaining high standards and making new friends in Milton Keynes.”

Some of Worktree’s expert staff will transfer to Develop as part of the undertaking. Meanwhile Worktree will continue to deliver its popular WorkOut! events in local schools and branch out nationally and internationally with its World of Work products and Employability Now! training.

The value of providing work experience to young people was shown at a recent set of awards.

Students from seven Milton Keynes schools received awards for outstanding employability skills in work experience placements. At the end-of-year event, attended by employers, teachers and parents, it was announced that the overall winner was Rachel Brooks of Milton Keynes Academy. Feedback from her placement at Brasserie Blanc said she is passionate about her work and an excellent chef, she would be an asset to any organisation.”

Alan Bullen, MD of Lynx Networks and Chair of Worktree Board said: “In an increasingly competitive economy, it is more important than ever to help young people develop their employability skills. This transfer of our work experience services to a larger provider is good news for our beneficiaries, the young people and employers.”