Case Study: Research, Evaluation & Design

Southend & Thurrock Careers Hub



This project was funded by Community Renewal funding. Nationally there is a push for employers to offer work placements for initiatives such as T-Levels, Kickstart, supported internships and traineeships. Schools and colleges are also required to offer an experience of the workplace to all students at least once between the ages of 11-16 and again at 16-18. Locally, a large percentage of young people do not experience a workplace as part of their careers education, which is detrimental to their future success.

Southend & Thurrock Careers Hub logo

Southend-on-Sea City Council, through the Southend & Thurrock Careers Hub, commissioned us to conduct a research and feasibility study into creating a ‘work experience hub’ with the aim of increasing volunteering and work experience opportunities locally by having a comprehensive plan to deliver or facilitate delivery of work experience opportunities and in time creating a sustainable local work experience and volunteering offer. This project is targeted at the city itself.



What might a work experience hub look like in the city?

Starting with the now, we needed to develop a clear and workable idea of what a Work Experience Hub could look like, who would be involved, what it would cost, and who might fund it. To present robust evidence which demonstrates exactly who it is for, and what change it will make.

Our aim was to create a clear picture of the experiences of the workplace that will have the biggest impact, uptake and support and provide funding options for a sustainable experiences of the workplace model. We also aimed to demonstrate how options will lead to attainment of Gatsby Benchmark 6 (Experiences of the Workplace), and better links between education and employers.


  • Market research
  • Consultation with key stakeholders
  • Qualitative and quantitative evidence gathering
  • One-to-one interviews
  • Group discussions
  • Survey design


  • Production of a comprehensive report ✓
  • Client is more knowledgeable about examples of experiences of the workplace that work in other locations ✓
  • Client has a choice of 4 costed Work Experience Hub models, with suggested funding options ✓
  • Client has an understanding of the impact each model might have for service users ✓