Adviza’s Work Experience Taster Programme for young people with SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) has been shortlisted for a prestigious Children & Young People Now Award.
The innovative project, which ran in Berkshire from April 2015 – March 2016, is up for the Advice and Guidance Award for the initiative that has done the most to reach and provide young people with information and support in making sound life choices.
The aim of the project was to deliver supported work experience tasters for up to 60 young people with SEND in Berkshire and help to challenge stereotypes in the workplace, as well as assess restrictions and other difficulties.
Adviza worked with 11 schools and successfully placed 57 pupils, the majority of whom were statemented, with 52 different employers including supermarkets, garden centres, leisure centres, nurseries, garages and building companies.
Intensive support and guidance was provided for the young people, their families, employers and schools or colleges. This was primarily delivered by a job coach, but Adviza also utilised the support of volunteers and a social work student on placement. Support included one-to-one sessions with the young people, workshops for parents, interview preparation and follow up sessions.
The employers who participated were supported to overcome various barriers to employing people with SEND. Each employer was visited, the premises risk assessed and the specific needs of the young person placed discussed in detail.
The young people were supported throughout the whole of their placement by visits and telephone contact. Those who had extra needs were accompanied by a volunteer to help them get the most out of their placements. These included M (pictured above) who, having recently been diagnosed with epilepsy, who was supported by an adult trained to administer his medicine.
Dianne Aston, manager and job coach said: “It was really beneficial to the young people because it helped them to see how they could fit into the world of work. It gave them a chance to recognise the challenges they would have to face in the future.”
The winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on 24th November 2016.