Our Careers Programme
Careers Lead – Zoe Peel [email protected]
We embed careers education and guidance into all aspects of our project. All parts of the curriculum encourage learners to develop the skills, independence, adaptability, and resilience they need to achieve progression into an area of their choice. Our project works to deliver a high quality and stable careers programme in line with the Eight Gatsby Benchmarks (2014).
The eight benchmarks are a framework for good career guidance, developed to support education providers in giving learners the best possible careers education, information, advice, and guidance. For a full list of the benchmarks click here or go to www.goodcareerguidance.org.uk
By the end of our project, we aim for all learners to have completed several work experience placements, to have received both group and 1:1 guidance on the options available to them beyond the project, and for learners to be moving on to their own individual destination (this could be paid employment, an apprenticeship, higher education, or long-term volunteering). The majority of our learning on the project typically takes place in the workplace and we believe this to be integral to the success of our careers programme; at the end of July 2021, 70% of TAP learners moved into paid employment, 15% went into voluntary work, and 15% continue to seek employment. Any learners who enter paid employment will be offered support to apply for ongoing in-work support. CareTrade are an ‘Access to Work’ and in-work support provider.
To see an overview of the curriculum on our two year TAP programme- click here.
Our careers programme at TAP operates by offering the following:
- Learners complete work experience placements at one of our hospital sites (GSTT or Whittington Health), as well options off-site. We also now run the CareTrade working kitchen where learners can develop their catering skills. Throughout the course, learners will have several meaningful encounters with employers to learn about the world of work and the skills that are valued in the workplace (Gatsby BM 5, 6).
- Employers receive autism awareness training to actively challenge stereotypical thinking and to better equip them to understand the reasonable adjustments that can be made in the workplace for our learners and others with autism.
- Learners will work towards gaining work specific skills in each placement. They will also work with job coaches on transferable and soft skills needed to match career aspirations, including communication, behaviour, and independence.
- As learners progress into the second stage of the project, they attend a weekly job club. This supports them with CV and cover letter writing, understanding job applications, how to search for jobs, and interview skills. The first job club session involves completing a self assessment and ‘moving on plan’ to help staff understand learners desired onward destinations. This is reviewed termly (Gatsby BM 3).
- Learners are provided with information about routes into employment, apprenticeships (or further study), and a session is delivered on local labour markets. Labour market opportunities are frequently discussed (Gatsby BM 2).
- Learners also attend jobs fairs (apprenticeship fairs, or higher education fairs if desired) and mock interviews. Sessions are held with talks from autistic peers in work, and with our ‘In Work Support’ team regarding reasonable adjustments and ongoing support once in work (Gatsby BM 2, 4, 7).
Careers advice and personal guidance
- Every learner has a job coach on the project to provide bespoke support along their learning journey and offer guidance around careers opportunities. Job coaches have regular meetings with learners to monitor progress, raise aspirations, and support learners to pursue suitable development options. Learners review skills learnt across the curriculum and targets to work towards each week with their job coach using their student journal (Gatsby BM 3).
- Termly progress review meetings are also conducted with job coach, learner, and their work placement manager, and with job coach, learner, and parent/carer (Gatsby BM 2, 3).
- Learners take part in a 1:1 careers interview with an external Level 6 advisor to support them in making informed choices as they progress into the second part of the project (Gatsby BM 8).
- Skill Up lessons directly link curriculum learning to learners’ career paths by working on workplace soft skills in the classroom environment, such as problem-solving and communication, alongside actively teaching topics such as customer service, teamwork and product design (Gatsby BM 4).
- Functional skills lessons also support learners with their work skills by teaching concepts such as time and money management, as well as supporting the improvement of written communication skills, which can be used for filling out forms and communicating with an employer (Gatsby BM 4).
To see our specific programme of careers events for 2021-2022
To read our full Careers Education, Information, Advice & Guidance policy
To read a summary of learner’s onward destinations and feedback survey results for 20-21
Other useful careers websites
- National Careers Service – a comprehensive careers website with job profiles, outlining: the skills required, main tasks, pay levels and career prospects for hundreds of different jobs. In addition, valuable guidance on the different stages involved in getting a job.
- Icould – useful videos about a wide range of job roles.
- UCAS – a helpful website for learners thinking of applying to higher education.
- Barclays Life Skills – information and guidance for young people on things such as improving your CV, identifying employability skills and tips for interviews.
- Apprenticeships – Government website listing apprenticeship vacancies.
- NHS Careers – lots of information about working in the NHS, including details about different job roles and employee and case studies.
- Where the work is – website showing labour market information, demand for jobs in different areas of the UK