The Midcounties Co-operative has welcomed students from a school in Sweden to its trading groups to find out more about a co-operative business, as part of its successful work experience scheme in Walsall.
Eight pupils from Fryshuset High School in Stockholm spent time at The Midcounties Co-operative’s travel, funeral and food stores across the Walsall area, to give them an insight into the co-operative values and the day-to-day activities of the Society.
The scheme is part of The Midcounties Co-operative’s social responsibility commitment to help educate and inspire young people and share its co-operative values with an international audience.
Fryshuset High School has around 900 pupils and educates young people who want to study at the same time as they develop sports, musical or cultural skills. It operates on the ethos of educating young people through creative and constructive activities, emphasising the importance of social involvement.
The students also visited The Vine Trust and Studio School in Walsall, a local organisation that supports young people to help them to gain skills and qualifications needed for employment, to inspire them further as they look towards entering the world of work.
Danny Farmer, store manager at The Midcounties Co-operative Food Store on Fullbrook Road, where the students spent time as part of the work placement scheme, said: “Our partnership with Fryshuset High School is a great way for us to support a like-minded organisation that is built on a similar set of values as ourselves, as well as giving our colleagues the opportunity to develop training and leadership skills through mentoring the students.
“This year marks the tenth anniversary of working with the school to provide educational and challenging work placements for its students, and we are looking forward to continuing what has been a very successful and enjoyable partnership with the school.”
Miryam Danielsson, teacher at Fryshuset High School, said: “The work placement scheme has given the students a great insight into the running of a co-operative business, and it has been useful for them to see how the values are put into practice in a different cultural setting.
“The students have learnt a great deal from their time with the Society’s colleagues and their visits to the local community organisations in Walsall, and we look forward to bringing more students to work with The Midcounties Co-operative in the future.”