HR company offering work placement lifeline to students

Kim Bradford, owner of Sphere Data Protection, which is providing work experience to local students.

Kim Bradford, owner of Sphere Data Protection, which is providing work experience to local students. - Credit: Sphere Data Protection

A Harpenden company has stepped in to help degree students struggling to find worthwhile work experience placements under pandemic restrictions.
Many larger companies have ceased to offer industrial placements, work experience or short-term internships as they struggle to stay open during lockdowns, or when large numbers of staff are furloughed.
This has left many universities struggling to find placement opportunities for their students in the current climate.
Things didn't look good for second year HR and Business Management students from the University of Beds, who need real work experience as part of their degree course.
Human Resource Centre lecturer Farzana Choudhary explained: "Small and medium sized businesses, particularly micro-entities, make up the vast majority of UK registered companies, and nearly half of the private sector’s overall turnover, making them a mighty force in the economy.
"As these students have been learning in their lectures, working in a small company requires small teams of workers to be adaptive, quick thinking, and have a range of skills to tackle anything.
"As well as benefiting students, work placements can help support a wide range of everyday business activities that can contribute to a business in a meaningful way, from writing a blog for a website, to a research project, to, well, pretty much anything!"
Fortunately local company Sphere Data Protection stepped in to help, offering a remote 12-week work placement to five students in order to give them a taste of what working for a small consultancy can offer.
Sphere is a private HR and Data Protection consulting firm, and owner-manager Kim Bradford said: "I am really excited to be able to offer this work experience to these students. The days of putting placement students ‘to work’ at the photocopier or making the tea are long gone. These young people looking for work placements are future employees, and most may well look further afield for their post-graduate jobs as well as for a local employer.
"Remote working has become ever more the norm and our increased use of technology means we can communicate just as easily as if we were all together in an office.  If my own small business can do this, I’m sure others can too.” Bernard Van-Der-Sande, tutor and lecturer at the University of Bedfordshire, would love to hear from any businesses who might be interested in offering this crucial learning experience to students in the future. Interested companies can contact him or Farzana Choudhury via 01234 400400.