• Sophie McBaiden

Open Palm launches work experience programme aimed at Ethnic Minority under-18s

These work experience opportunities form part of our employability course, WYZ For Work. With support from our partners, under-represented young people can gain key skills and vital access to the workplace. These opportunities can change lives.


We launched WYZ For Work, our employability course for 13-18 year olds, in May 2021. The course prepares young people for career success - from the classroom, to their first jobs and beyond. It includes practical insights from people across various industries - from new hires to seasoned experts.


Our course is aimed at Black, Mixed Heritage and Ethnic Minority young people. This is to address disparities in employment rates and access to leadership positions, but the course is open to all.


An employability programme delivering impact


As part of this immersive course, we launched a dynamic work experience programme. We have developed a structure that allows young people to gain valuable, hands-on experience that will boost their CV.

“Work experience is the heart and soul of a CV. Employers are more likely to look at the ‘work experience’ portion of a CV than any other section. Any opportunities that are included in this section will help shape and enhance futures”

- says Yochebel Shungu, Volunteer Coordination Lead at Open Palm.


From 1 September 2021, young people that complete WYZ For Work can apply for work experience placements. They can put skills they learnt on the course into practice, such as application techniques. Placements are with our partner organisations in various sectors, from Tech to Football Coaching!


The work experience structure allows young people to gain important skills. These placements add value to both the young person and the organisation. Importantly, young people can use these new skills, which helps their CV and next steps.

Work experience is a useful way to explore careers. It provides a safe environment to try different jobs, and even confirm - or remove - certain career options. It helps to break a vicious cycle, as many young people find that they cannot get a job because of lack of experience.


Young people gain access to industry and can build networks through these placements. As Ethnic Minorities are more likely to fall into lower socio-economic groups, this foot in the door can change lives.


"We hope that young people find exploring their career options a worthwhile experience. This will help them with future career decisions."

- Lynette Emesibe, an Open Palm Trustee.

October starts


The first work experience placements start from 25 October 2021, which is the half term week for a lot of schools and colleges.


Placements are available with the following organisations:

  • The community arm of Queens Park Rangers (QPR) Football Club

  • Data experts Station 10, and

  • leading Wealth Managers, Charles Stanley.

There are a mix of virtual and in-person opportunities, some are office-based and others are on site.


An equal start line


WYZ For Work tackles disparities in employment rates and access to top leadership roles that disproportionately affect Ethnic Minorities. The programme improves outcomes through practical learning, CV-boosting accreditations and work experience.


“Job applicants are competing with many others from a range of backgrounds and experiences - including those more privileged. Therefore, having work experience on the CV creates equal opportunity, strengthens an application and helps the applicant to stand out from the crowd.”

- Yochebel.


This programme equips young people for success and helps to create an equal start line, so that no-one is left behind.


Partnering for success


We are excited to build further partnerships and provide opportunities for young people.


If you would like to partner with us to create more opportunities, please get in touch.