CIPD research found that, when recruiting, an increasing majority of employers prefer candidates with ‘employability’ skills and a broad understanding of their sector, rather than specialist skills and knowledge required for specific vacancies. 

It is critical that young people can demonstrate these essential skills – such as teamwork, presenting and problem solving - when entering the workplace and that individuals are supported to develop these skills throughout their working lives. 

Key to gaining these skills is practical insight into the world of work through work experience. Time spent with employers also broadens young people’s knowledge of industries, helping to shape their career decisions and offering them ways to explore the workplace. 

Encouragingly, employers have continued to engage young people following the pandemic, transitioning from face-to-face encounters to virtual activities. In doing so, employers are playing an essential role in helping young people learn about work, gain skills that are valued and take on real-life tasks.

What is virtual work experience?

Benefits of virtual work experience

Creating impactful work experience

How to engage young people


Virtual work experience case studies 

Related content

Making work experience work: Tips for employers

Advice for employers on making work experience work, highlighting good recruitment practices and providing information on feedback during placements

Internships that work: Guide for employers

Guidance for employers on starting or improving an internship programme, including a checklist and model agreement

Making apprenticeships future-fit

Our evidence on the current state of the apprenticeship system in England, and the reforms needed to ensure apprenticeships provide access to the labour market for young people

Latest guides

Managing and supporting employees suffering domestic abuse

Guidance and practical recommendations for supporting employees experiencing domestic abuse

Menstruation and menstrual health in the workplace

Practical advice to help employers provide support around menstruation and menstrual health in the workplace

People manager guide: Managing a return to work after long-term absence

Practical guidance to effectively manage and support an employee’s return to work after long-term sickness absence

Managing a return to work after long-term absence: Guidance for people professionals

Practical guidance to effectively oversee and support an employee’s return to work after long-term sickness absence

All guides