Neil Measures's blog
It is a real pleasure and source of pride, hearing the individual successes from bothemployers and learners. Usually success comes about as a result of having overcomeparticular challenges and there have been plenty! It is clear that, not only is the immediate impact of the project measurable, with some learners already looking like going into paid employment with their employer and/or onto apprenticeships, but how the programhas really helped give young people with a disability or difficulty a firm career foundation; allowing access to future opportunity within their chosen field,which would otherwise have been impossible.
Coachingdefinition to engender trust. How else will our young work placement learners be honest about thier particular needs? To meet the range of employer needs, as well as a range of individual needs to be differentiated, a training event for all learners is being prepared. Probably with 'Coke& cakes' to help sweeten, a day crammed with important Health and Safety information and activities.
With stages containing: The working enviroment, different for all, but with some generic things like, -what to do in an emergency, or who to speak to if something goes wrong. Then an initial assessment stage, to ensure all needs are fully understood and differentiated. This informs the learner's plan and work in progress, with an eye on how or what can be changed to ensure equality, whilst developing safe behaviours. The next section will be about supervision, both its importance and benefits, again this is a chance to build confidence and rapport, so that an open and transparent relationship is formed. Other outputs for the day will include how to get information Instruction and/or training. From the basics like carrying heavy items, even rushing around, to the safe use of more technical equiptment, particularly for placements in the construction industries.
For our smaller employers, with less than five employees, and therefore unlikely to have thier own safety policy, a section will be included called, Information, Instruction and Training which draws together the policy framework to start from for them and helps create a safer future for everyone.
Supporting Students with Autism on Vocational Courses and hosted by the Natioinal Autistic Society (NAS)Submitted by Neil Measures on Wed 30-Apr-2014 19:00
Job Coach has attended an intesive one day training seminar called, Supporting Students with Autism on Vocational Courses and hosted by the Natioinal Autistic Society (NASdefinition). To enable effective support for the several placements with autism, including Asperger syndrome, into work. The Employmentdefinition Training Team offered training to raise awareness of the specific needs of individuals with autism in education and in the workplace.
Busy, there is no other way to describe it and no other easy-way to do it. Arranging introductions and initial meetings, being there to answer employer concerns over health and safety or customer focussing. Still, after all this time, over-coming barriers that prohibit our learners from accessing employment in the first place, both physical, practical and emotional; from-checking bus times and travel routes, to last minute nerves and preparation. Check and double check, don't assume and don't leave it to chance.
These learners are fabulous, lots of enthusiasm shines through as they eagerly await word of a work placement opportunity. By seeking advise from tutors, coordinators and others who know the potential placements closely, only those who might benefit the most from this experience have been selected. It may seem calm on the surface, but it is full steam ahead. A time plan is now drawn up, scheduling a range of stages, setting out chronologically, employer meetings , learner briefings, initial introductons and bespoke planning, with the view to commencing work placements at the begining of May. Some movement is expected, because a match for some of the ten placements is still being sought, whilst several are at the bespoke planning stage. Feedback from managers and staff in the workplace has been positive, on the whole. With broad agreement that the emphasis is upon ways which support and encourage the strengths of learner-placements, coupled with practical methodologies to help overcome barriers to differentiation.
The cohort of potential placements were brought together for the first time over lunch this week. They were given plenty of opportunity to chat and ask questions. This gave learners thier chance to decide if they wanted to accept a supported placement or not and it also gave insight into planning the ways support would be necessary once in the workplace setting. Information leaflets created, See attached, .
Next Tuesday is fast approaching. A local employer has agreed to give a talk to our potential work placements. This is a great result, because our speaker not only has knowledge of all the employability aspects necessary for transition into the world of work, but also can relate on a deeply personal level too. He has a young daughter who has a LDD and understands the difficulties this project is attempting to address. It is hoped Tuesday's lunch will spark enthusiasm, build confidence and leave our potential placements feeling eager, willing and empowered. Most of the fifteen Learners with LDD invited, have confirmed thier attendance, for younger learners (those under 18trs), conversations have taken place with parents or guardians to explain the project. These converstaions have met with positive responses and have paved-the-way for a subsequent meeting for parents, perhaps over coffee one evening soon. This is a useful chance to gain the support of parents, build rapport, answer thier questions, address concerns and therefore ensure future job coaching can be fine tuned, targetted and most effective.
Continuing to research, gather and organise a range of resources to be used whilst compling a Learning Booklet. The Learning Booklet will be issued as the placement commences and will contain a series of units for the learner to work through, for example, getting to know your environment and getting to know your teamworkers and colleagues etc. The Learning Booklet can be used not only as an ongoing assessment and review resource, but also an invaluable source of information for the learner to produce upon request by any future employers; something the learner can take with them in addition to thier CV and/or references. By drawing together a range of generic units, a generic booklet can be created which contains the opportunity to input personal performance reviews, feedback and learner learning log.
Creating a timeline to help organise the work load. The challenge is matching employers with the aspirations and strengths of potential learners. The balance this week is between interviewing potential placements and selecting possible employer matches. Contacting the employers and establishing rapport. Using the flyers created last week to promote the project and following-up with emails and phone calls to a), ensure employers are aware of the supported Placement and Job Coach role, B) ascertain employer expectations, training requirements and potential opportunities.