Students at a South Tyneside school have been introduced to the world of work in a bid to boost their employability skills.
Pupils from Keelman’s Way School in Hebburn have undertaken a variety of placements throughout the academic year.
The work-based project aims to give the teenagers – who have a range of special educational needs including autism, speech and language problems – the chance to experience the world of work, gain extra qualifications and show prospective employers what they can do.
All pupils who completed their placements – which range from horticultural work to office jobs – were presented with awards at a special assembly held at school.
Placements this year have included testing out work as librarians, receptionists, waiters, conservationists, teaching assistants and much more.
Pupils attended placements at, South Tyneside College, West Boldon Lodge, Saltwell Park, Projects Choice, South Tyneside Homes, South Tyneside Libraries, Souter Lighthouse, Bilton Hall, Hedworthfield CA and Ocean Road CA.
It makes me feel good and I learn how to do new jobs ready for when I leave school.Laura Walton
Student Laura Walton said: “It makes me feel good and I learn how to do new jobs ready for when I leave school.”
Pupils attending Saltwell Park have taken part in a City and Guilds qualification in Practical Horticulture Skills with students being able to complete PHS modules to achieve Certificate, Award or Diploma.
Those at West Boldon Lodge, completed the John Muir Award - an environmental award scheme focusing on wild places.
Each student completed at least two placements throughout the year which also help students with community engagement to progress with social development.
Pupils have also been attending work placements through the Project Choice internship program for people with learning disabilities, difficulties, or autism.
Project Choice offers a pathway to work, offering supported internships and delivered in partnership with Gateshead College and Sunderland College.
Erin Harbetson said: “Wednesday is my best day, because I get to meet new people and do new Jobs, I would like to be a chef when I’m older and work experience helps me with this.”
Teacher Katharine Harbinson said: “As a school we would like to thank all the mentors and providers for all the hard work they have put into the placements and working with our students. The students appreciate all you do for them and are very proud of everything they have achieved under your guidance.
“Our students recently celebrated their achievements with a Prom at the fantastic Littlehaven Hotel and can we also say a huge thank you to all the staff at the Littlehaven who make this a magical, fun, and incredibly special day for our students.”