All students are given the opportunity to use their learnt skills and knowledge in a real life situation and to complete a period of work experience. Despite the low percentage nationally of people with severe learning difficulties being in employment, we are optimistic about our student’s chances of gaining employment, even if it is on a part time or voluntary basis. We believe that in giving our students the knowledge and experience of work, whilst still in education, it will give them the best chance in their future of living as full and independent life as possible.
Our students currently attend work experience placements in Retail, Admin, Hospitality & Catering and Site Maintenance & Logistics. For each placement, students are accompanied by a Willow Tree member of staff for their induction period where they formally meet an employee and are given a tour and demonstration of their duties. The students carry out their duties independently but always have a Willow Tree member of staff close by. Students are fully prepared for their work placement by their Learning Facilitator and each have a work experience booklet to complete throughout the placement. The length of the work experience placement is dependent on each student’s individual needs, but most placements start off with an hour per visit for up to 5 days (one working week).
Princess Royal Hospital
Students visit The Princess Royal hospital where they carry out duties in the Hospital shop, such as stacking shelves and replenishing stock. Students learn about the health and safety aspects of the job, as well as customer service.
TCAT Catering Team (Haybridge)
Students work at the busy TCAT canteen, where they carry out cleaning duties such as clearing tables and cleaning tables and chairs. Students learn about recycling, using cleaning products safely and health and safety in the workplace.
TCAT Estates Team
Students shadow TCAT Estates and maintenance staff and carry out duties such as moving tables and chairs and setting up the dining hall.
The Willow Tree Centre Admin
Students learn a variety of admin skills such as answering the telephone, counting and handling cash, filing, copying, shredding and inputting data on a computer.