A TEENAGER has called on businesses in the Malvern area to offer more work experience placements to young people.

Melissa Parsons, aged 15, has just completed a week’s placement with Malvern Hills District Council as an economic development assistant.

The 15-year-old Hanley Castle High School student spent the week helping the council’s economic development team to plan a campaign promoting apprenticeships, graduate placements and work experience.

Schools are no longer legally required to provide work experience but all high schools in Malvern still run a two-week work experience programme for their students. However, teenagers often find it difficult to secure placements.

Melissa said: “I know from experience how challenging it can be to find a suitable and enjoyable work experience placement, especially when you have yet to decide on what to do with your future.

“My time at the council has allowed me to explore a whole variety of careers and offered me an insight into the working world. I’d urge as many businesses as possible to offer work experience placements to help inspire young people who will be their workforce of the future.”

Melissa found her placement through the Worcestershire Skills Central website, funded by Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and managed by the county council under its Connecting Schools and Business programme.

The council is committed to improving links between businesses and schools and as part of its new five-year plan seeks to create at least 100 new work experience placements.

Council leader Phil Grove said: “We offer work experience placements to our young people as we believe it is beneficial to us, the employer and the student. We are able to hear the voice of a young, fresh mind, which can help us to understand what we need to do to capture the attention of young people in the district through our work.

“I would strongly urge other businesses to offer work experience placements and to take advantage of the Worcestershire Skills Central website.”

Businesses can register work experiences by visiting the website, or contacting the council's economic development team on ecodev@malvernhills.gov.uk or 01684 862151.