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Will volunteering replace work experience?

Will volunteering replace work experience?

This week, the government pledged to link pupils with employers. But education organisations argue that social action, rather than work experience, is the best way to provide the skills that employers really want 


Throughout his undergraduate degree in biomedical science, Neil Gilbride had flirted with the idea of working in education.

Three days after his final exam, he walked into a job as a parent-support worker.

“This was during the financial crisis,” Gilbride says. “But I could say I’d been working with children with special educational needs – and with their families – for about five years. And I could say that with legitimacy.”

He is now a lecturer in education at the University of Gloucestershire.

Since the age of 16, Gilbride had been volunteering at a play scheme for children with profound disabilities. Later, at university, he continued volunteering within the field of inclusion.

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