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News

New Project SEARCH Interns Experience World of Work

 

Ten young people with learning disabilities have started a year-long internship with Bath & North East Somerset Council.
 

It’s the 11th year the council has welcomed interns from Project SEARCH – an initiative led by the council in partnership with Bath College and Virgin Care. The aim of the scheme is to support young adults with learning disabilities into work.
 

Over the next twelve months the interns will work in three placements across the council. The aim is enable the interns to develop skills, gain experience and grow in confidence and independence.
 

Councillor Richard Samuel, cabinet member for Resources, said: “The average employment rate for people with a learning disability in the UK has dropped to just six per cent. We need to address that and increase the opportunities available to young people with learning disabilities. Project SEARCH enables the interns to develop the skills they need to find sustainable employment. Over the years we’ve had huge success with our graduates finding employment through the programme. I’m sure this year’s cohort will benefit enormously from their time with us.”
 

During their time at the council the interns receive on-site tutoring from Bath College and Job Coach support from Virgin Care. The partners also work with local organisations to help interns find vacancies and apply for jobs.
 

Following the successful completion of their internships next June all graduates will be presented with certificates at a special ceremony at the Guildhall.
 

For more information about Project SEARCH click here.
 

News

Bath College to host Preparing for Adulthood Fair

 
On Thursday 14th November from 4-8pm Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus will be hosting the event supporting teenagers with special needs to prepare for adulthood.

 

A collaboration of Bath and NE Somerset’s special schools, Fosse Way, Three Ways and Bath College will allow parents, carers and young people to explore services in the local area. This brings together employment, healthcare, community and independent living options which have previously been exhibited separately.
 
The fair will give the opportunity for young people and their carers to chat to providers about what is best for each individual and how to access the services. Stand holders include Curo Independent Living Service, Dimensions HealthCare, The Life Project and Mencap Supported Employment Team.
 
Jo Stoaling, Head teacher at Three Ways School comments that “Knowing what your choices are and who is able to support you through a time of transition is vital. At Three Ways, we aim to support the young people and their carers through transitions and give as many relevant options as possible.
 
“The fair showcases some of the options local to our families and gives a chance to start thinking about ideas.”
 
Julie Knight from the Bath & NE Somerset Inclusion Team says “We want to start as early as possible to explore independent living options and pathways to employment, as well as the support and healthcare the young people will have available as they move into adulthood.”
 
Sally Eaton, Head of Inclusion at Bath College says “We are delighted to invite so many different providers to Wellow House, the new SEND Centre at our Somer Valley Campus at Bath College. It will be a great opportunity for young people with SEND and their families in B&NES to see what is on offer so they can start to make plans for their future.”
 
The event is free and fully accessible with plenty of parking and refreshments on offer and open to the public from 4-8pm.
 

Molly Cook SU Equality & Diversity Officer

News, Students Union

Meet our SU Equality & Diversity Officer, Molly Cook

 

We spoke to our Equality & Diversity Officer, Molly, who got elected onto the Students’ Union after running a successful campaign at the end of last academic year.

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Molly Cook and I have autism. I love to socialise with different people. I like to make new friends and get to know people. I love music and I like to chat to people about things. I love to be out and about with people and on my own. I go to clubs outside of college. I am a lovely person. I just love chatting to people to get to know them.
 
What course are you doing at Bath College?
I am doing the LILS (Life and Independent Living Skills) course at Bath College at Somer Valley Campus.
 
Why did you apply to be Equality & Diversity Officer?
I applied to be Equality and Diversity Officer because I want to make a difference around the college and make college a better place. And I want to share my personal experience of autism and raise awareness of other disabilities and make college a more equal place.
 
What would you like to achieve during your time on the Students’ Union?
To make college a better place and to make people aware that I am the same as everybody else in college including all of my college friends. And I want to plan some events about different things. I’m looking forward to starting my campaigns.
 
Where can you be found on campus?
I can be found in the Wellow Building at Somer Valley Campus.
 

Project SEARCH interns in the Guildhall

News

New Project SEARCH interns start the year with afternoon tea

 

Last week the new Project SEARCH interns gathered in the Guildhall to meet their coursemates for the first time over a cup of tea.
 
Project SEARCH is an employability programme in partnership with Bath and North East Somerset Council and Virgin Care, which helps young adults with learning disabilities gain the skills they need to become employed.
 
The students have a mix of classroom based learning and workplace experience within one of the B&NES departments, with placements varying from working in a kitchen to working in a museum.
 
Laurel Penrose and Alice Honey
Alice Honey (right), who has been through the project SEARCH programme, came to chat to the new interns about what a positive impact the programme can have.
 
She said: “I found Project SEARCH really encouraging. It was good because I learnt the skills to get a job and now I am working 16 hours at Action on Hearing Loss which is great because I live so close. I really enjoy my job, it’s pretty good.”
 
Laurel Penrose (left), Principal CEO gave an informal welcome to the new group: “Project SEARCH is very close to our hearts. It’s amazing to see how much students change and grow in confidence from the beginning to the end.
 
“Sometimes the course will be hard, so please talk to us, everybody needs some help sometimes. It’s a lovely course, you’ll get some really good employment opportunities and experience.”
 
For more information or to apply for Project SEARCH, click here.
 

Announcement, News

Life and Independent Living Skills Students running Bath College Shop

 

A huge well done to the Bath College Life and Independent Living Skills (LILS) Students who have successfully taken over the day-to-day running of the College Shop.
 
The LILS programme is for SEND learners and focuses on preparing young people for adulthood by promoting independence wherever possible.
 
Bruno Elliott, Inclusion Facilitator at Bath College, is overseeing the learners in the shop. He said: “Students say that it helps them get ready for employment. It does this by making them realise the importance of customer service in a retail setting and improving their communication skills.
 
“Handling money plays an important role in preparing for the workplace. It also enables them to feel more part of the College.”
 
The College Shop sells a variety of art equipment, stationery and other useful items such as reusable coffee cups and is open Monday-Friday 10.00-11.45 and 12.50-14.45.
 
Shop customers are kindly asked to be patient with the students staffing the shop as they learn the ropes of a retail environment.
 

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