A worthwhile exercise

Your article on work experience (“Turning the pain into gain”, 29
July) gave some excellent tips for any newsroom planning to take on
work experience students. Interviewing for the position, only taking on
those who show a genuine interest in journalism, giving the student
real work to do and keeping them on for a long enough period to be of
real benefit, will help to dispel the notion that work experience is a
pointless (and perhaps, irritating) exercise for all those involved.

I
would like to add just one point: while looking after the work
experience student is, apparently, a real inconvenience for
journalists, it can also be excellent managerial training for junior
staff looking to take on more responsibility. For reporters at the
bottom of the ladder, the challenge of assigning and assessing someone
else’s work can be both stimulating and confidenceboosting.

It may even make them more amenable to setting up work experience placements when they hold the editorial reins.

More helpful hints on arranging and managing a work experience placement can be found by visiting www.work-experience.org

Liz Rhodes MBE director, National Council for Work Experience

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