29 Mar

Sometimes as an organisation, we can take for granted the amount of employers locally and regionally that support our students. As part of our careers action plan, we made a conscious decision to support businesses by training their staff, so that they are fully equipped to work with our students. On Wednesday we had our first ever Employer Training Event, with a focus on ‘Autism’ and dealing with people with Autism within the workplace. Sarah Dunsdon, a teacher from Hollinwood Academy did a fantastic presentation to delegates around Autism and myself and Mr Quinn shared our experiences of employment successes for our students.

I was so overwhelmed by the sheer number of people in the room. We had 40 people attend from businesses across Greater Manchester, some of whom we already work with and others that we don’t. From industry sectors including construction, arts, hospitality and sports, it was great to chat with likeminded colleagues who are keen to develop opportunities for our students to move into the world of work! We are looking forward to hosting these events termly moving forward and I’d like to say a huge thank you to Maria Statham, our work place co-ordinator for co-ordinating the event along with Anna, Chantelle and the training team. Also a huge thank you to Sarah who did a truly inspirational and engaging presentation!

Now over to our staff and students for our usual weekly updates starting with our job coach Tisha who has news from Hortus and the Atrium cafe for us..

I would like to update everyone with how our Activ8 and Lumenus students at Medtia have been getting on with the working skills they have been learning! Let’s start with the Activ8 students Daniel, Jamie and Connor..

They have been helping Tony to maintain the grounds at the Learning Centre, pruning trees and bushes with shears and loppers..

..and clearing away the cuttings using a wheelbarrow..

The pruning team have been working hard – even in the snow!

They have laid down fresh soil and compost and planted seeds for the Summer term. Tony has shown them how to prick out seedlings..

It looks like there will be a good crop of lettuce this year!

Connor gets taller every week, very useful when it comes to helping Tony paint the front fences..

The Activ8 boys continue to learn new skills every week and are a huge asset. They have helped Tony a great deal and look forward to their Hortus work experience placement every week.

Over at the Atrium cafe in First Choice Homes the Lumenus girls, Ananya and Megan, and Chloe from Spring Brook Upper are working hard too.

The Lumenus girls began their placement in January and they settled in really well and have grown in confidence. They have been learning to restock the kitchen supplies..

..rotate the milk stock, clean the cafe area..

..empty the rubbish and wrap the cutlery ready for service..

They have learnt essential money skills and how to speak to customers and provide good customer service.

Chloe began last term and she has excellent customer service skills ~ I was impressed when she served over 20 customers in half an hour! Chloe is good at using the iPad to input orders and taking monies from customers..

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Over time Chloe is talking to customers more easily and using more eye contact. She is also learning food preparation. Chloe is very helpful towards Megan and Ananya and the girls have been working as a team doing the trolley run..

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Megan has definitely grown in confidence by speaking to customers and working as part of a team. She is also learning to smile more..

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Ananya has started learning money skills. Here you can see her identifying different coins..

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She has also been working on her trolley run skills, here she is rehearsing what to say to customers..

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This is what Chloe has to say about her placement..

While I’ve been working at the Atrium cafe I have done loads of things like clean the tables, sweep the floor, stock up, take food out and work on the till. It has been nice working with other people and I have enjoyed it.

Now we go over to our Bridging the Gap students at Manchester Metropolitan University..

It is now nearing the end of the second term and our students have been working extremely hard to gain as much experience as they can in their current roles. The sun is shining in Manchester and the students are enjoying not having to walk in the rain for a while!

Lewis is gaining more experience by the day of his job role in Operational IT and he is completing sensor audits and installing new batteries which cost £20,000 each!! That is one expensive battery! I am proud to say that Lewis is our Worker of the Week this week! He has shown amazing resilience and an excellent work ethic, well done Lewis!!

Reece has made a big impression in the library and is well liked among his work colleagues. He is busy signing in all the new books and has been busy working on the microfilming, where he has had to collect 1000’s of film reels which are no longer needed as we have all gone digital now!

Both students are looking forward to their next and final term at MMU and are looking forward to graduating from MMU, where families and friends will be able to come down to the university to watch them graduate. Exciting times!

Our Bridging the Gap students at the Royal Oldham Hospital have been just as busy..

Dominic and Ellis have been busy on placements this week, they are both working maximum hours and enjoy working with different staff. Ellis has been learning about the importance of the infection prevention code and works alongside Paul in the mornings and afternoons.

This week Ellis has worked with a different member of the Cleaning Services team. Gary is covering in the laundry area whilst Paul is on holiday. Ellis likes Gary and has enjoyed working with him.

At lunchtime, the boys like to sit with other members of staff in the cafe chatting and enjoying a bit of banter.

Dominic is enjoying his placement with the Pharmacy porters. He likes keeping busy moving around the hospital delivering to wards and clinics. He also enjoys working in the post room helping the staff with the post rounds and sorting the mail.

This week we had a surprise visitor Rachael my daughter called to meet the boys and hear about what they had been up to. They told her about their experiences on placement and then asked about her job and what things she was interested in. They challenged Rachael to a game of Uno and she surprised them both by winning. At lunchtime we all went over to the café and had dinner together. The boys enjoyed her company and asked if she would visit them again sometime.

After half term, Ellis will continue working in Cleaning Services for his third placement and start paid work in the evenings. Dominic will be starting his third placement in the Laundry working mornings, and will continue to work with pharmacy porters in the afternoons.

To finish, I would like to remind you that next Friday we have our ‘City of Tomorrow’ day with Teen Tech. You should have received a letter to explain this further and we would love you to send in your recyclable materials into college early next week to assist us with our builds!

Have a wonderful weekend,

Daniel
Head of Key Stage 5 Pathways

You can view our previous blog entries here

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