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Universities in Mexico embed toolkit to improve work-based learning experiences

26 Sep 2022
People 1st International

The world of work is increasingly competitive and dynamic. Young people need the opportunity to build the right skills that will make them work-ready and confident to enter employment.

Work placements are a fantastic way of giving youth practical, hands-on experience in the workplace. Research shows that work experience placements have a positive impact on young people’s soft employability skills and confidence. They provide opportunities to learn and take part in the day to day activities of business, helping to develop and utilise skills related to the industry; interact with colleagues; as well as better understand company culture.

Work placements also offer significant benefits from an employer’s perspective. Employers who open their doors to work placement students have an opportunity to cultivate future talent and support them in developing skills that are valuable for industry, contributing to the future talent pipeline.

Two leading universities in Mexico, Universidad Tecnológica de los Valles Centrales de Oaxaca (UTVCO) and Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua (UACH) share a strong belief in the value of work placements. Through Skills for Prosperity Mexico, part of the Skills for Prosperity programme which is a global initiative by the UK government, we worked with consortium partners DAI, IYF and UK Skills Federation to develop a toolkit and provide training to further enhance the experiences of students and employers engaging in work placements.

The toolkits, tailored for both employer and student audiences, cover how to plan, prepare, carry out and evaluate work placements, providing practical checklists, examples and templates to make the result more impactful for both sides.

The toolkits also champion gender equality and social inclusion in the workplace. A specialist module on the topic provides guidance on how to make hiring processes more inclusive for both student placements and prospective employees.

To train students and employers in the use of the toolkits, we delivered customised workshop sessions at each university. At UTVCO, we held six workshops in Oaxaca training 24 students and 20 employers, and at UACH, we held nine workshops in Chihuahua training 25 students, 15 employers and 24 academic tutors.

The toolkit and workshops received fantastic feedback from participants, and UACH has since confirmed that the toolkit will officially become a part of their work placement process.

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