The Dream Big initiative has been launched by charity Believe in Young People and is offering structured placements for students aged 14 to 19 with a range of well-known employers.
The one or two-week placements, which are with companies such as Premier Inn, Costa, and Hilton Worldwide, all have the potential to lead on to Apprenticeships or employment.
A key aim is to help develop students’ workplace skills and behaviours and 62 per cent of students completing placements last year were either offered an Apprenticeship or identified as “future talent” by the organisations involved.
The campaign’s launch comes as the OECD’s Skills Outlook 2015 report highlighted challenges for British students in navigating the transition from school to work.
The survey showed a 12.6 per cent literacy gap between NEETs and employed young people in Britain – nearly double the OECD average of 6.5 per cent.
The Dream Big campaign also offers participants support to become “work ready” through an online platform and support team.
Students receive e-learning resources, careers information and careers workshops. They are also able to track their development and connect directly to work experience placements, Apprenticeships and future job opportunities.
Chief executive of Believe in Young People, Tanja Kuveljic, said: “We simply can’t ignore the latest OECD figures which highlight the current difficulties for our country’s young people to transition from school to the world of work. Youth unemployment is a real issue which affects not only the young person but the community as a whole.
“We believe the solution lies in working together at a local level – with schools, colleges, parents and businesses joining forces to support those getting ready to step into the working world.
“We are facilitating these relationships and our unique approach is helping to transform how employers and education work together, while supporting a smooth transition from education to working life for young people.”
For more information, visit www.believeinyoungpeople.com