Supporting young people with SEND into work experience can require a little more effort to ensure that students and businesses are comfortable and understand how to overcome challenges that they may face.
One example of a SEND student who recently carried out a succcesful work experience placement is of a Y11 student from Treviglas School called Ben. After searching for a confident and inclusive employer a work experience place was secured for him at Waitrose supermarket in Truro.
After the initial contact Ben was invited into the store to meet the HR manager, who would be coordinating the placement. He was accompanied by his mum and also the work experience coordinator from the School. During the initial meeting Ben had an informal interview on the sorts of things that interested him and the type of task he would enjoy and be confident in doing. At this point key challenges were also discussed and those present who knew him well helped the HR manager understand how best to support him with these challenges.
The meeting was followed by a tour of the store to allow Ben the opportunity to familiarise himself with the layout and for those accompanying him to work with the HR manager to identify any areas of challenge and strategies to support him.
After the initial meeting a plan was drawn up, based on the discussion at the meeting, as to the start times, length of day and duties that Ben would undertake during his work experience week in order for him to get the best out of it. The store also arranged for a uniform and badge for Ben and contacted the staff at the store to let them know that a work experience student would be joining them. Every effort was made to ensure that the store and staff would be ready to support Ben effectively.
Ben used an easy read workbook to journal his experience at the store so this could later be used to reflect on his placement and identify future areas of interest and development.