IO3: Return on Investment Guide for work experience in social enterprise

WHY → Why did we create this guide?

SIVSEN project’s aim was to develop a work experience placement programme that can be transferable to any social enterprise in Europe.

There are many ways in which work experience in social enterprise is similar to work experience in any other business, so this guide focuses on what is unique about a social enterprise work experience placement. 

Workplace experience as an element of vocational education has been championed by governments and educators in recent years. It is seen as key to the development of employability skills, and credited with supporting young people to arrive in the workplace equipped with the skills, attitudes and mindset that employers need. 

This Return on Investment Guide examines the value of work experience in social enterprise for VET students, and for social enterprise organisations, based on work in four European countries: Italy, Romania, Sweden and UK. 

HOW → How to use the guide

The Return on Investment Guide draws on the extensive experience of the project partners as well as desk research, focus groups and interviews with young people. It builds on our comparison survey of work experience and social enterprise in four countries, (the UK, Italy, Sweden, and Romania) and our social enterprise work experience framework. 

This Return on Investment Guide brings together what we have learned about work experience in social enterprise during the two years of the Erasmus+ funded SIVSEN project and partnership. It focuses on the benefits of work experience in social enterprise to the student, to the social enterprise employer and to society.

WHAT → The ROI guide

SIVSEN emerged from partners’ experience of social enterprises as organisations which frequently deliver on these aspirations; are a growing sector within all four countries and tend to be under-represented among work experience opportunities offered to young people. 

The key questions addressed in this guide are: 

  • What are the benefits to the young person of a work experience placement in a social enterprise? 
  • What are the benefits to the social enterprise of hosting a work experience student? 

Our secondary question is: 

  • What are the opportunities for internationalisation of social enterprise work placement opportunities?

IO3: Case Studies