5,700 virtual work experience placements available

7 December 2020

5,700 potential virtual work experience places could be available in 2021, thanks to a new partnership between SEMLEP and Speakers for Schools.

The virtual work experience programme addresses the need for high quality work experience, despite any further restrictions or lockdowns now or in the future.

The virtual encounters open doors of opportunity for young people in the South East Midlands, while allowing employers of all sizes to grow their talent pipeline and make a difference to those who really need it.

This Spring, to create 5,700 work experience placements, SEMLEP and Speakers for Schools are inviting local businesses and schools to get involved with the programme.

Designed to provide eye-opening work insights for students, schools can get involved with the fully funded programme to connect their students with high impact placements with top employers remotely.

Paul Thompson, Employment and Skills Manager at SEMLEP said, “SEMLEP are committed to connecting employers and students to provide meaningful encounters, which can often influence a young person’s future career decisions.

“To inspire the next generation of our workforce, we need local employers to get involved with the scheme. Work experience placements often offer a fresh perspective for your business, while providing a first-hand insight into your industry.”

Jason Elsom, Chief Executive Officer, Speakers for Schools added “In an unprecedented year for schools, employers and most importantly, young people, Speakers for Schools is committed to levelling the playing field for school students of all backgrounds. This new partnership with SEMLEP will enable us to work closely with schools and leading companies across the South East Midlands to provide high quality work placements.”

Two information webinars are being held to provide more information about the programme and details on how to get involved.

SME business owners are invited to join a webinar on Tuesday 8 December, registration available at The webinar for school leaders is being run the following day on Wednesday 9 December. Registration available at,

This programme forms part of SEMLEP’s wider Define Your Career initiative, encourage people across the area to take control of their careers, skills and future by understanding the opportunities available.

Speakers for Schools was founded in 2010 by ITV’s Political Editor Robert Peston with a mission to level the playing field for young people. The charity aims to end educational inequality by giving access to the same networks as the top fee-paying schools in the UK through inspirational talks and broadcasts, employer insight days and work placements, and meaningful discounts and life-preparing opportunities.