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Tom is on a Supported Internship at our Mid Devon Campus and works at Tesco
Supported Internship Programme
“I am on the Supported Internship Programme and work at Tesco. On the Project Life programme last year I did work experience at Tesco on the deli counter, and asked them if they would take me back this year and they said ‘yes’. I now work stacking shelves.
I was really worried about starting work and doing things on my own. My job coach has been great and gradually, over time, she has worked with me to build my confidence. I’m now confident to spend time working on my own, which I never thought I would be able to do.
Tesco have been really supportive. They have made adjustments for me, to make my working day run as smoothly as possible and are currently putting together an action plan to help me progress to the next level with the company.
I still can’t believe I’m out there in the workplace – I’ve come so far. My confidence has improved so much and all the students on my course say they have noticed a big difference in me.”
Tyler is on a Supported Internship Programme at our Mid Devon Campus and works at the Trout Inn
“As part of the Supported Internship Programme I spend three days a week working at the Trout Inn in Bickleigh. I work in the kitchen as a porter, washing dishes, preparing ingredients and generally helping the food preparation process run smoothly.
Although I have done some volunteering at Knightshayes Court, this is the first ‘proper’ job I’ve ever had. Prior to joining this programme I did Project Life at Petroc, which taught me the employability skills needed for a supported internship.
I have Tourette’s syndrome, so have always been very anxious in social situations and scared to enter the workplace, in case people judged me. This has been a huge step for me and I have nothing but praise for everyone at the Trout Inn. They have all been so supportive and accepting and because there’s a very relaxed atmosphere there it makes me feel relaxed which, in turn, means I don’t tick.
Working at the pub has dramatically improved my confidence. There’s no way I could have done anything like this even a year ago, but step by step I’ve learnt new skills and started to believe in my ability. I’ve learnt to work as part of a team and have made some great friends, who I now see outside of work, too.
I couldn’t have done this without my job coach, Kerry. She has kept me focussed and on the days in the beginning, when I was doubting myself, she helped me see how far I’d come and encouraged me to keep going. Initially Kerry would join me on every shift, but now I am happy to go to work on my own.
During my time at the Trout Inn I’ve gradually been given more responsibility and now, on Sundays, I work front of house, clearing tables and talking to customers. This is something I never thought I’d be able to do, so I’m really proud of how much I’ve grown in confidence.
I used to be nervous about the future because I couldn’t imagine ever being accepted into the workplace. However, thanks to the encouragement of everyone at Petroc and the Trout Inn, I now feel confident to apply for work and, for the first time, I feel ready to plan and actually feel excited about what the future holds.”
Alan is on the Supported Internship Programme, working at Joshua Tree and the Calvert Trust
North Devon Campus
“I’ve been at college for three years, on a variety of supported learning programmes.
This particular course is all about building our confidence and getting us ready for the world of work. The whole course focusses on finding us employment.
When I was younger I helped my dad make a summer house and really enjoyed it, so that’s why I was keen to take part in the carpentry internship at Joshua Tree – a local furniture makers.
At Joshua Tree I learn lots of different skills, such as how to use the tools and machinery and how to take accurate measurements. At the moment I’m working on a coffee table, sanding, waxing and polishing it.
When I first went out there I was really nervous, but right from the start everyone at the company was really friendly and supportive, even collecting us from the bus every morning and dropping us back at the end of the day. The time always goes so quickly when I’m there, which shows I must enjoy it!
I go to Joshua Tree on Mondays and Tuesday and on Wednesdays I’m in college learning employability skills. Then, on Thursdays and Fridays I’m based at the Calvert Trust, where I’m also on an internship.
At the Calvert Trust I man the reception, answering calls and dealing with general enquiries. Again, I really enjoy it and I’m grateful that I’m getting the chance to learn two very different skills at Joshua Tree and the Calvert Trust.
With all the skills that I’ve acquired I now feel ready to enter the workplace on a permanent basis and am hopeful that I’ll be able to find employment at the end of my course.”
Katie is on a Bridging course; one of our supported learning programmes.
“I’ve always enjoyed sports and I love the fact that we get to take part in so many activities as part of the Bridging course. So far, we’ve done trampolining, swimming and dodgeball.
Also, as part of the course I’ve had the opportunity to carry out work experience at the Calvert Trust as an assistant instructor. This was great, as it taught me to be more independent and also helped my confidence, as I got to work with lots of different people whilst I was there.
After I complete the Bridging course I plan to move onto an internship programme, which will give me the chance to work in lots of different sectors, again increasing my confidence and allowing me to learn the skills that are needed in the workplace.”
Danny is on a Bridging course; one of our supported learning programmes.
“I like the Bridging course because we do so many different things each week, including motor vehicle and bike maintenance, as well as English and Maths. The course is aimed around teaching life skills to help me in whatever I choose to do next.
As well as the things we do at college, we also take part in offsite activities. For example, I go swimming at the Leisure Centre with my group on Wednesday afternoons.
I’ve always learnt better doing practical activities, I think that’s why I particularly enjoy the motor vehicle module. In fact, after I complete this course I’d really like to apply to a motor vehicle course here at Petroc and then, eventually, get a job working locally.”
Brigit is on a Bridging course; one of our supported learning programmes.
“In the past I’ve found education difficult. I’ve always felt like I didn’t really fit in, and struggled to learn in a classroom environment. However, on the Bridging course we learn in a far more practical way, which really suits me. Also, I feel like all my lecturers really listen to me and understand how I learn, which is great.
Later this year we’re all going to Sweden to take part in an exchange programme with a supported learning school. We’ve been planning it for months and I can’t wait. It will be really interesting to meet other students on similar programmes to us, and also have time to explore Sweden and learn about their different cultures and traditions.
When I complete this course I hope I’ll have the skills needed to apply to a full time course here at Petroc. I’ve always loved cooking, and often get complimented on it, so I think I will probably enrol on a Level 1 catering course. There are lots of opportunities in this industry around here, so I hope that I will be able to find a job locally once I’m qualified.”
Adrian is on Career Skills - a supported learning programme - at our Mid Devon Campus.
Mid Devon Campus
“My behaviour wasn’t great at school, and this meant that the lecturers at college didn’t think I was ready for a mainstream course.
Last year I did Prince’s Trust, but again my behaviour got in the way of me really succeeding on the course. So, it was recommended that I try Career Skills.
This course helps with so many different aspects, to hopefully get me ready for a full time course next year. We spend time learning how to structure assignments, and how to plan our study – all skills that I’ll need on a full time course.
I also like the fact that this course is really varied. Because I’m never bored I’m less of a distraction in the classroom!
I think I’m more focussed on this course because I can see an end goal. I know that if I work hard and really try to manage my behaviour then there’s a strong chance I’ll be accepted onto Maintenance Operations next year. Also, alongside this course I’m retaking my GCSE English which, again, should help me with whatever I chose to do next.
I’ve chosen to study Maintenance Operations because I want to get a trade under my belt. I’ve always learnt better in a practical environment, so I think the course will really suit me.”
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