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Why We Think Work Experience is So Valuable

At Playscheme, given the industry that we're in, we understand how vital work experience placements can be to young people looking to develop their career.

In the past, Playscheme has always offered work experience placements to local schools, but mainly in the workshop, shadowing our skilled joiners to give a feel for what it is like to be part of a busy manufacturing team. But after our office re-development last summer, we decided that this year, we would also open our office doors to provide young people with opportunities in design, development, office management and administration; as well as in our manufacturing facility and installation on site.

We wholeheartedly believe that work experience is a valuable tool to students because it provides them with a strong CV to take to prospective employers that will with set them in good stead in landing their dream jobs. It's so true that skills, experience and references make connections, so we want to do as much as we can to help them in work experience endeavours.

Work experience is worth its weight in gold to Playscheme because it helps us to keep up-to-date with new trends and technologies that the schools and universities are teaching, and also opens our eyes to the enormous amount of talent that is promising for future recruitment processes. Having fresh ideas and skills in the working environment also benefits the existing staff, not to mention we love making new friends!

We love getting involved with universities and colleges, as we get to meet some incredible and inspirational youngsters who can sometimes provide that fresh set of eyes we need on projects. We currently have two students working with us from York St. John University and they have been getting involved with some of our major projects within the studio over the past couple of weeks. This is on the back of the collaborative project we recently worked on with YSJ Design.

Meet Mark

Mark is currently studying Product Design at York St. John University.

Date started Work Experience: Monday 16th May - Friday 27th May

Projects Worked on: A live design project with York High School, a parkour adventure trail, a farm shop play area design development and a Youth Sport Trust product design.

How much did you enjoy your work placement? Over the last two weeks I have really enjoyed my time at Playscheme. Once the first day was over and my nerves had calmed, I found that I woke up each day eager to start work. All the members of staff have made my experience really enjoyable and I will miss coming in each day.

Do you think that the experience has benefitted you? I think that this experience has really benefitted me as a designer. I have learned a range of new skills which you cannot learn within the university environment. It has also allowed me to make strong connections with the Playscheme team which in the long term I'm sure will benefit me greatly.

What kind of experience did Playscheme give you? Playscheme gave me a really well rounded work experience. Working in a busy design environment has been an interesting insight into how the business is run. On my first day I was given a range of different briefs which I could take on, ranging from heavily product design briefs to more graphic design projects. I was definitely not stuck for exciting things to do! Combined with working with real clients, materials and the workshop staff, my experience has been excellent!

Do you still want to work in design now? Of course I still want to work in design! I think if anything, this placement has firmly confirmed the fact that I want to work in the design factor. I would be extremely happy if I got the opportunity to do this role every day and get paid for it.

Which skills do you think you've developed? Over the two weeks I have been here I have developed my skills in a number of areas. Mainly, I have really improved my skills in Google Sketch-up, which at the beginning of the placement I had little knowledge about. I've also learned key skills in costing products which is important for any product designer. Another key skill I have developed is presenting my work, which is important in a career like this if you're pitching a product to a client.

Would you do the placement again? I would definitely take on the placement with Playscheme again.I have really enjoyed working in such a positive and buzzing hive of design. All the members of staff are lovely and I would love to work with Playscheme again in the future.

Meet Rachel

Rachel is currently studying Interior Design at York St. John University.

Date started Work Experience: Monday 23rd May - Friday 3rd June

Projects Worked on: A sand and water system development and an adventure trail

How much did you enjoy work placement? I am coming along really well at Playscheme; all the staff are friendly and helpful, making it a welcoming and encouraging place to work. Luckily, Mark and I overlapped for my first two days of placement, meaning my initial first day nerves were non-existent and I felt like a real member of the team straight away. The help and support through my work is helping me develop and expand my knowledge using professional programs whilst learning about the business side and how it works. I am sure the rest of my placement will be as enjoyable as the first few days and I'm looking forward to learning more skills and developing my ideas working closely alongside Ashleigh and her team with all their experience.

Do you think that the experience has benefitted you? Definitely, as an Interior design student I believe it is important to look into all design opportunities in order to excel as a professional designer. The knowledge I absorbed just in the last couple of days will stick with me for life, it's a unique opportunity to come and work with a specialised business, as the skills learned cannot be taught at university.

Do you still want to work in design now? Yes of course, it's always interesting seeing other designers at work. You can learn so many design techniques that you can take away and use in the future, and from that you can see how a strong and reliable team is built. For anyone who is studying or even remotely interested in design, working with a company like Playscheme I would say is essential in order to become and develop into an upcoming designing

Would you do the placement again? I've really enjoyed my time here at Playscheme, I would definitely do it again given the opportunity. All the staff have been lovely and I hope to stay in contact the Playscheme for years to come. Thank you for giving me the chance to work with you, and for all your help and advice in the last couple of weeks.

In the summer, we are also expecting a student from Woldgate School, coming to work with the design department for a week! We're looking forward to meeting her in July.

If you're interested in getting some work experience Playscheme are always more than happy to help, or to point you in the right direction. You can get in touch with us at mail@play-scheme.co.uk

Download our brochure for more information