THE owner of a Worcester business says having a work experience student has been a great help to her, and thinks more local stores should offer the opportunity.

Antonia Henson, who runs retro merchandise store Monkee Business in Reindeer Court, took on 16-year-old Rachel Godwin-Emerson for work experience on weekends after she asked for the opportunity.

Three months in, Miss Henson says Miss Godwin-Emerson has been a great help to her, and she thinks more local businesses should give young people the chance to work with them.

"I don't know of any other shops that offer work experience, apart from charity shops, but often they have a stigma attached to them that mainly older people volunteer in them," she said.

"I think if more businesses were to take on a work experience student for a few hours a week it would benefit both the business and the person involved.

"Having Rachel in the shop has massively helped me. There is currently only myself working in the shop so it's great to have her around to help customers when I'm busy with another customer, or to man the shop when I pop out to get some lunch. It also helps me see what it would be like if I did employ someone in future."

Miss Godwin-Emerson, who lives in Fernhill Heath, said the experience has been a huge help to her too.

"I've never had a job before so this is a great chance to get some experience. When I first started I was so shy and couldn't speak to customers, but now I greet customers and talk to them to see if they need any help," Miss Godwin-Emerson, who will start at the Youth Development College in Worcester in September, said.

"I have used the till a few times and it has helped build my confidence up and make me realise that I can do something like this.

"I think more businesses should definitely offer work experience — take someone on, review them, and make sure they are comfortable in what they are doing. It will really help them feel confident when applying for jobs in the future."

Monkee Business is celebrating its third anniversary and from September 1 will be offering giveaways and vouchers.