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Careers Education – Pathway to Employment
Our vision is that through our unique and highly regarded ‘Pathway to Employment’, we will:
“Increase the possibility and probability paid employment for our pupils”
Through our innovative and highly regarded ‘Pathway to Employment’, the established partnerships we have with independent providers Careers Education providers as well as local businesses, we have achieved some significant outcomes for young people with learning difficulties and additional needs, enabling them to secure full time paid employment.
Through the schools Person Centred approach to planning, pupils are able to articulate their dreams and aspirations for their futures and adult life. For some pupils, their clear aspiration is to enter the world of work. To support this goal, we have created a unique Pathway to Employment.
Our Pathway consists of 5 distinct but related strands:
- Way2Work (Careers at Every Level) Careers Education lesson
- Work Related Learning
- Business Enterprise programmes
- Work Based Experience
- Project SEARCH
All strands increase the the possibility and probability of paid employment. By engaging with over 40 small, medium and large businesses through our ‘Brookfields Business Advisory Group’, families and HR departments, the young people at Brookfields School have a real chance of achieving their dreams of paid work.
Many employers are reluctant to take on someone with a learning disability because they do not know enough about the benefits employing someone with special needs, or how to get the right support.
Brookfields School has a track record of supporting businesses and young people with learning difficulties into paid employment. The businesses which have supported our students on Work Based Experiences or have employed them to be part of their work force, have said that they make highly valued employees.
We believe more employers should be supported and encouraged to support and employ people with a learning disability.
Brookfields School has worked in partnership with a local Careers Education company, Talentino!, who are a niche career development organisation. Together, we have created a bespoke Careers Development programme for young people with learning difficulties and additional needs who aspire to enter the world of work. This programme is based on Talentino’s innovative Careers programme designed specifically for mainstream schools and colleges called “Careers at Every Level”. The pupils have called our programme “Way2Work”.
In addition to our partnership with Talentino!, we have established partnerships with other organisations. Adviza support students in Y9, Y11 and Y14 by providing impartial advice on the possible FE courses they might be able to access when they leave school.
The majority of students will need to access job coaching and supported employment. In addition to having our own Job Coaches, we work in partnership with Ways into Work who are a Supported Employment service with an outstanding reputation in supporting young people with learning difficulties into paid employment. Through these partnerships and our Vocational Profiling, we can ensure that our students’ transition from eduction into the world of work is successful and seamless.
This unique partnership draws on Talentino’s background of business and employment/recruitment and Brookfields School’s standing as highly regarded innovative school, both locally and nationally in the field of special education.
The Way2Work programme teaches pupils the skills, knowledge and understanding they will need to work as well as offering individualised support and guidance to position them for the best chance of paid employment.
The Big Picture
- 1:20 children in the UK are ‘disabled’
- 6.7 million disabled people in the UK are of working age
- 50% are in work compared with 80% non-disabled people
- 1.3 million people who are disabled want to work but don’t
- 65% of adults with learning difficulties want a paid job but only 10% do
- 25% of people with a disability have no qualification compared to 9% non-disabled people
The average hourly rate of pay for people with a disability is 10% lower than non-disabled people
If the unemployment rates were the same for people with a disability and those who are non-disabled, the economy would lift by £13 billion
The Local Picture
- The total number of young people with a learning difficulty aged 16-24 in Slough, Bracknell, Wokingham, Reading and Newbury is 2352
- 171 are in full time paid employment 7.2%
- 961 are in education 40.8%
Through out Pathway to Employment, pupils can expect to:
- Develop a Personal Career Development Plan
- Develop a CV which employers can easily understand and one which is not purely based on qualifications
- Engaged in individually supported Work Experience, which suits the pupil and their interests
- Participate in a co-collaboration/enterprise project in a way that suits them including working with mainstream pupils from other schools
- Join in activities which will differentiate them positively on heir CV’s and which will support their employment aspirations
- Benefit from weekly ‘job skills’ lessons using the resources and materials from the MyNextSteps.me ~ Career Development Programme
- Participate in a 5 year tracking exercise
As one of the local businesses said about a student on Work Experience:
“He was a joy to have working with us. He worked well as one of the team and reliably completed all the tasks we set him with enthusiasm and a big smile. We would love to have him back”
“Simon worked in the stores workshop, office and the shop floor and proved himself to be a very willing and able assistant. He is a fantastic ambassador for Brookfields School”
(Reading Buses, Manager)
“As a result of Philip coming to work with us I have noticed an increases staff moral and the motivation of our employees”
(Fielders Farm Shop)
“Providing a work placement for a young person requires hard work and commitment from an employer, but can be both rewarding and good fun!”
(Manager, Pets at Home)
“Sebastian has been an absolute pleasure to work with. He was always eager to start work and when given jobs he would finish them quickly and to a good standard. He got on really well with the team and was great at conversation; however this could sometimes distract him from the task at hand. But with a subtle reminder he would get back to his task and when finished always ask what else he could do”
(Food Kick, Owner)
We are committed to increasing the possibility and probability of paid work for young people with learning difficulties.
Read our latest Pathway to Employment newsletter here (Spring 2016)
You may be interested in reading this article “The struggle to find work when you have Down’s syndrome”
If you would like to find out more about the programme and how it might be used in your setting, please contact Brandon Mills on 0118 942 1382