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IT surprises me to hear it but teenagers find it difficult to use the telephone.

More exactly, pupils on work experience report that using the telephone is a challenge. The problem is highlighted in a Department for Education and Employment report, published on the Web this month. It surveys the benefits of work placements and suggests some areas for improvement.

The demand for placements does put pressure on employers - 95 per cent of young people are given work experience during their GCSE years. And even though two lessons are usually set aside to discuss the experiences afterwards,employers are rarely asked to contribute.

The report says pupils don't seem to change their general attitude to lessons after their experiences but they do get a better sense of what real work might be like. The full report, by Jim Hillage, Jenny Kodz and Geoff Pike can be downloaded from: It is one of a growing collection of DFEE research reports accessible from:

Sam Saunders

Readers can email suggestions on future Internet Insights to Sam Saunders at: J.P.Saunders

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