Students from a specialist further education college in Swindon have been celebrating their success in developing the skills they will need as they become more independent.
Farleigh Further Education College, which is based in Bath Road, Swindon, is an independent specialist residential college for young people aged 16 to 25 who have Asperger’s Syndrome and associated disorders.
Staff there help young people to develop the confidence and skills they need for the next stage of their lives.
SEQOL energy2work has been running a project called The Skills Factory with some students from Farleigh College, helping them to develop work-related skills to increase their aspirations for employment. During that time, for one day a week, the students have been on placements hosted by several employers including Carillion, the Swindon Intermediate Care Centre, Swindon Borough Council, SEQOL Catering and FMW Recycling. The project links closely with the NEET (young people not in employment, education or training) agenda in Swindon.
On completion of the project, SEQOL chief executive Heather Mitchell presented the students with portfolios of their work and congratulated them on their exceptional achievements.
Ann King, supported employment project manager at SEQOL energy2work, said students have worked very hard to master skills that don’t come easily to them but that will help them have as seamless transition from education into employment as possible.
“Over the past year, the students have been in work experience placements, learning new skills and basic work ethics, such as turning up and developing good time keeping, and they have been supported by some brilliant work buddies and gathered evidence of key skills along the way,” said Ann.
“The project has gone very well indeed, and means that more young people who live locally should have a fairly seamless transition from education into employment.”
Sally Grubb, head of learning and student support at Farleigh FE College, added: “Our students have thoroughly enjoyed their work placements, which have not only given them valuable employability skills, but have enabled them to greatly improve their social and communication skills too.
“It is evident that with appropriate support and understanding employers, people with an autism spectrum condition can make a valuable contribution in the workplace. It is fantastic to see how the students have grown in confidence – we will definitely be placing other students with the Skills Factory next year.”