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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.
 

Wiktor on his plcaement

News, Student Spotlight

Case study: Wiktor’s Erasmus Business Placement in Prague

 
Wiktor Blaszczyk took part in an Erasmus+ placement in Prague earlier this year, at an organisation called called Recola, a bicycle rental company. We heard from Wiktor about his month-long placement to find out all the benefits it had.

 

Completing a work placement is a requirement on my Business course. So I thought, why not do one abroad! My tutors had shared the opportunity with me but the desire to travel, meet new people and throw myself into a completely new environment, made me motivate myself to work hard and earn a place to go to Prague for 4 weeks.
 
I began researching the company that I would be working with beforehand, and discovered that it was looking to expand internationally into European markets. I read up about some of these in advance, and greatly impressed my employers with my insight during my first week on the job!
 
Getting to see how a business works internally was a great benefit. My area was in sales for the company’s bicycle-renting project, and my main role was in identifying and making international contacts, in order to introduce the project into cities across Europe. I used my initiative to develop a communication guide from the company’s existing documents, suited to the individual countries which I had to interact with. My confidence, inter-personal skills and problem-solving ability were greatly boosted through this experience.
 Wiktor and his colleagues
 
Living away from home in a foreign country in an apartment full of other students, gave me a taste of independence and responsibility, which I would not have had otherwise. Prague is a haven for delicious food, beautiful architecture, museums and general activities, so there is always something to do! The host organisation even organised an evening at an escape room which the whole team enjoyed! Our in-country contact helped us to sort any issues which we might have and would always reply to our messages immediately. He even brought food for us on our first night there when we arrived from the airport, which was much appreciated!
 
A moment to remember in the local community, was when an elderly Czech gentleman heard me speaking English to some other students on a tram, and turned to greet us warmly. He even stepped off the tram at our stop to point us to a restaurant he recommended, before he boarded again to continue his own journey home.
My efforts throughout the placement earned me the praise of my boss who asked me to continue working with the company once I returned home, and I gladly agreed! I am still carrying out my tasks whilst completing my Business Course at Bath College, and I know this will look great on my CV when I apply for a job after. The placement made me realise that I prefer developing my skills in an actual workplace.
 
My advice for future participants is to stay focussed on what you are doing and your goals to make the most of the experience. Be flexible and always look for solutions. It was a great experience for me from which I gained a lot of life lessons and skills. Thank you to Erasmus+!
 

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