Students on SEQOL’s Skills Factory programme have reached new heights in their year long tasters of the world of work at a team building day on the climbing walls at Link Centre.
The Skills Factory programme works with young people who have been diagnosed as on the autistic spectrum and prepares them for the world of work by steadily introducing them to a real-world work environment and teaching them skills they will need.
Each programme lasts one year and this year’s attendees – students from Old Town’s Farleigh College as well as those referred through Swindon Borough Council – recently gathered to learn about communication and team work in a novel, hands-on way.
The students were challenged to reach the top of the nine-metre walls whilst blindfolded. Relying on the instructions from their classmates to complete the task, they quickly realised that working together was the easiest way for them to reach their goals – just as it is when working.
The students were also then tasked with only using specific coloured climbing holds and also built their confidence by bouldering.
Each student is placed with a company and spends one day a week undertaking work experience with them. This year’s partner companies include Costa, BMW, Shell, MacKenzies, Runway4 restaurant and Pets at Home.
Ann King, SEQOL Supported Employment project manager, said: “It can be easy to take these skills for granted, but those on the autistic spectrum can struggle with this part of work life so much so that they might not consider employment as an option for them.
“The students on the Skills Factory programme gained a lot from their day at the climbing wall and they all came away not only pleased to have achieved something new, but having learnt and refined their skills to help them in their careers. They have all developed so much in the past year and are sure to be an asset to their future employers.”
To find out more about SEQOL, visit www.seqol.org.