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SWH Supports Bicton College's Reach Programme

SWH National Skills Academy for Construction was pleased to offer a site visit to a group of students on the ‘Reach’ programme, a supported learning initiative at Bicton College.

The programme works with students with moderate learning difficulties between the ages of 18 – 24. One of the qualifications the students are working towards is focused around planning and participating in a work experience placement.

The government has pledged their support in ensuring more adults with learning difficulties find work. Similarly, SWH is also focused on ensuring young adults find employment and we have recently become the 50th member of the 5% Club. This is an initiative focused on creating momentum behind the recruitment of apprentices and graduates into the workforce. In order to prepare the students from Bicton College for work, a group of 6 students visited a variety of different employment sites. 

They were given the opportunity to talk to employees about their daily duties, as well as being given a guided tour of the premises. They were also able to find out about different types of work which might be available to them.

Later on in the academic year, these students will be writing to employers within their own community to request a short work experience placement. Having made visits to different work sites, they will be in a much better position to be able to decide on the nature of the work experience they would like to carry out. 

The students recently visited SWH, where they were given a site induction, followed by an overview of the various divisions that comprise the company. Special thanks to Dean Womack, John Matthews, Sheldon Roberts and Marion Hall who volunteered their services on this day.

Further to this, as part of SWH’s National Skills Academy for Construction Programme, we have committed to providing 5 meaningful work placements to support candidates from disadvantaged groups who are struggling to find work in the construction industry and 5 work placements for students in Education. 

SWH has formed strong partnerships with local schools including Southbrook, a successful secondary special school for pupils, aged between 11 and 16, with varied complex needs and abilities including moderate or severe learning difficulties, social emotional and behavioural difficulties and Autism.

James aged 16 is a pupil from Southbrook School with a keen interest in Mechanics. He has moderate learning difficulties and attends a college course at Exeter College studying towards an E3 level certificate in vehicle management. This is part of a re-engagement programme that the school buys into in order to ensure that James has a bright future in employment. The 2 week placement at SWH has proved beneficial to James as he instantly loved being in the workshop, gained confidence and was made to feel part of the team.

Karl Attrell and his team at SWH Workshops have been very helpful in supporting this scheme by offering a variety of work placement opportunities.

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