While the majority (75.8%) of Brits believe it’s important to take on work experience when starting out in your career, two thirds (67.8%) admit that they didn’t find it hard to secure their first job without any previous experience. That’s according to the latest research from CV-Library, the UK’s leading independent job board.
The study of 1,200 professionals explored the topic of work experience and whether it is necessary in today’s working world. The survey revealed that almost three quarters (70.1%) did NOT take part in an internship or work experience before they started their first job. Other key findings include:
- The majority (87%) of workers think work experience is still important, with one third (33.3%) saying that it could help you decide whether a career path is right for you
- A further 31.1% believe that having experience on your CV shows potential employers that you’re motivated and passionate
- And, one in five (21.9%) say it introduces you to the world of work
Lee Biggins founder and managing director of CV-Library comments:
“We’re often told that work experience is vital for getting a job. So it’s interesting to see that UK professionals were able to land their first role without any previous work experience. However, it’s good to see that companies are hiring candidates who might not have a great deal of work experience, particularly when younger professionals are trying to get their foot in the door. “
“Despite the finding, work experience is still extremely beneficial to both candidates and employers and is always an important focus on a CV. That said, it’s important to take a candidate’s entire CV into consideration when recruiting. After all, you don’t have to rule out a great potential candidate just because they don’t have any relevant work experience.”
The research also explored the role that the education system plays in helping young people to gain work experience. It found that nearly half (44.5%) of professionals said they were never told how important work experience was during their time in education.
What’s more, 42.5% admit there was no opportunity to undergo work experience whilst at school, college or university. The majority (93%) believe that schools and universities should do more to encourage students to find work experience and internships whilst they are studying.
“It’s clear that more needs to be done across the education system to support students in finding work experience. After all, undergoing such placements can help to introduce young people to the world of work and help them to learn valuable skills.
“If you’re keen to offer these opportunities to students you could consider starting a work experience or internship programme in your company. You never know, you might meet professionals that show great potential and this gives you a chance to recruit those innovative and talented individuals further down the line.”
For more information, visit CV-Library’s Recruitment Insight centre.