Petroc supported learning students featured in new DCC campaign

Petroc is proud to be supporting Devon County Council’s ‘Ready When You Are’ campaign.

Thousands of people across Devon are overlooked for jobs because of mental health conditions, learning disabilities and autism and the scheme helps businesses think differently about disability and improve how they attract, recruit and retain disabled workers.

Two Petroc learners from the college’s Mid Devon Campus are featured in the campaign: Reuben Wheatley and Ashley Pritchard. Reuben recently accepted a Supported Apprenticeship with Devon County Council, after completing a placement at County Hall as part of the Project Life Supported Internship Programme. Ashley, who was also on the Project Life programme, now works as a kitchen porter at The Pig at Coombe and has plans to become a chef in the future.

The Project Life programme at Petroc is designed for young adults who have an identified learning disability and the desire to gain paid employment, who may not have access to employment using expected routes. The flexible programme includes on-the-job training with a local employer supported by expert job coaches alongside employability training which teaches skills needed in the workplace.

“Having a job coach is a massive thing for me. It helps me to be able to do my job and they give me a lot of support. I didn’t always understand what I was being asked to do at the start, so my job coach helped me with that,” explained Ashley.

Ashley’s full case study can be read here.

Supported Internship Programme Manager, Mandy Campbell, said: “The achievements of the learners on the Project Life Supported Internship Programme at Mid Devon Campus have far outweighed any of our or, at times, their expectations… always so proud.

They continue to strive to gain paid employment with a positive work ethic and hard work despite the barriers that may be faced.

“However, this cannot happen without employers willing to see past those barriers.

This campaign is going far and wide across Devon and I am hopeful that employers that had dismissed employing someone with additional needs will now think again,” she added.

Employers interested in supporting the campaign and hiring someone with a disability can contact Jobcentre Plus for bespoke advice on the support on offer and the benefits of becoming ‘disability confident’.

Here’s the promotional video featuring Reuben: