Posted 12 Jun 2024

Indie retailer partners with local colleges group to offer work experience for students

Each student will have a unique opportunity to receive hands-on experience in the following fields: social media management, website development, business, and the arts.
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White Orchard has recently partnered with Shrewsbury Colleges Group to offer up to 4 work experience placements each academic year at its shop on Butcher Row, in the heart of Tudor Shrewsbury.

Under this partnership, each student will have a unique opportunity to receive hands-on experience in the following fields: social media management, website development, business, and the arts.

At the start of each academic year, Jen and George, White Orchard's proprietors, will work individually with each student to help them learn as much as possible in their respective field. For the second half of the academic year, the students will come together to work on a group project, allowing them to learn how to manage their individual responsibilities while working on a joint project as part of a team.

"George and I have many years of experience working in teams from our previous fields and we know how vital it is for young people to learn how to work together to achieve a common goal," Jen explains.

For each academic year, White Orchard will work with a student to teach them about social media management. This person will work alongside Jennifer, learning how to create eye-catching content that will engage followers in unique ways. They will have opportunities to pitch their ideas and watch them come to fruition, helping them build their portfolio and their confidence, and will learn how to grow a following and turn that into lasting relationships with customers.

Another student will have the opportunity to learn about developing a website. They will learn how to add products to a website, where to gain the information needed for each product listing, and how to capture the essential details customers want to know before making an online purchase. They will then have the chance to learn about improving website performance through Google Ads campaigns and implementing necessary search engine optimisation (SEO) changes that need to be made on an ongoing basis.

A more business-focused student will have the opportunity to learn about different forms of advertising, return on investment and why they are each important and cannot be overlooked. They will learn how to calculate how much revenue needs to be generated from an investment, anticipate what customers will be looking for at different times of the year, and develop those vital relationships that keep a business going. They will also learn about budgeting, accounting requirements, and managing supplier relationships so that both businesses (supplier and stockist) benefit from working together.

Lastly, a work experience placement is available for an art student. This person will work with Jennifer to create window art installations and learn how to create a cohesive story that can be told throughout the year with their art. They will also learn about product merchandising and how it relates directly to the bottom line of any retail business, no matter how large or small they may be. They will learn about career opportunities they may not have been aware of, where to find them, and what type of work different artistic careers could entail.

Each of these students will be given access to additional free training opportunities enabling them to expand on what they're learning in their respective classrooms and in the shop with us.

"At the end of each academic year, we hope these students will feel more confident and prepared for what they choose to do when they leave college," added Jen. "Furthermore, for as long as White Orchard continues to operate in Shrewsbury, we will offer to maintain that professional relationship with each of them, so they know they have someone else they can turn to for guidance when and if they need it."

Get involved

Shrewsbury Colleges Group is always looking for work experience opportunities for its students. Work placements are a vital part of students’ growth into effective members of the workforce across a range of industry sectors. The Colleges Group would be delighted to hear from any organisation or business willing to offer an industry placement opportunity. If you would like to find out more about industry placements and discuss how they could benefit your business, please contact Meg Murphy on 01743 342347 or

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