Work related learning

Gaining hands-on work experience is vital to develop confidence, nurture new skills and prepare students for paid or voluntary employment.

Students on our work outcomes programmes are developing essential employability skills in a range of industries. These include catering, health and beauty, landscaping, arts administration, security, facilities management, finance, childcare, retail, hospitality and construction. We continuously search for new employers who share our values and meet the aspirations of learners.

We support:

  •  Learners aged 16 to 25 years old with an EHCP
  •  Learners aged 19 years and over without an EHCP but with a self-declared disability
  •  Trainees aged 16 to 18 years old who have faced significant barriers to learning. For example, social anxiety, mental health issues, carer’s responsibilities, dyslexia and dyspraxia  

If you are unsure about your eligibility or cannot decide which programme is best for you, get in touch with our Admissions team.

National Star’s work programmes

Work related learning programme overview
Our highly flexible work programmes are perfect for students who want to find a job after college. The programmes vary in length from one to three years and are available to students in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.

For instance, students in Gloucestershire may begin to develop skills by working at StarBistro, our StarPrint enterprise, reception, shop or administration office at National Star in Ullenwood. They are then supported to work at one of our partner employers in the local community.

Some of our partner employers are large organisations such as EDF Energy, the University of Gloucestershire and St James’ Place Wealth Management. However, we work equally with a range of organisations, from small independent businesses, local charities and schools. We are passionate about investing the time to match students with employers that are the right fit for them in terms of workplace culture, learning experience and support offered. 

Watch students making an impact at their work placements gained through National Star

General Work Outcomes programme

This programme is suitable for 16 to 24-year-olds with an EHCP. It is delivered Monday to Friday, term time only. It supports learners to develop real and transferable skills for mostly voluntary and occasionally paid work. These skills can include team-working, communication, organisational skills, timekeeping and independent living skills. Students study for a vocational qualification and maths and English, as appropriate for individual learners. 

We will support you every step of the way. Every student on this programme has a personal learning mentor who will work with you to plan and design a timetable so that you can achieve your goals. Your timetable could include sessions with our therapy specialists, which include speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and our emotional and wellbeing service.

As part of this programme we will help you to gain work experience, which could vary from two hours to one day a week. You can access work experience as part of a small group or on your own, depending on skills, confidence and interests.

Skills for Work

You can progress onto our Skills for Work programme from a general work outcomes programme or be enrolled directly. This programme is suitable for 16 to 24-year-olds with an EHCP. Run over four days a week, term time only, the Skills for Work programme is designed to help learners secure sustainable voluntary or paid employment. Learners benefit from support from a job mentor and pastoral support and are working towards developing their confidence to enter the world of work with greater levels of independence. Each student has a tailored individual timetable. Learners undertake work placements that vary in length from two hours to two days per week.

The timetable also includes a provision to allow students to undertake vocational qualifications as well as maths and English, where appropriate. Your timetable could include sessions with our therapy specialists, which include speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and our emotional and wellbeing service.

Find out more about our Skills for Work programme

Steps into Work Supported Internships 

We offer Steps into Work Supported Internships for students with an EHCP and also for learners aged 19 and over with a self-declared disability. The internships run for a year and give the opportunity to study towards a vocational qualification and maths and English if required. Students spend one day in a classroom and three days in a host employer’s organisation.

Thanks to our reputation and close links with the local business community several major employers and many smaller organisations are keen to work with our supported interns. These include Atkins Global Bristol, EDF Energy and Blushes Hair & Beauty. Small employers include those working in catering and hospitality, horticulture, retail and many more.

Find out more about our national Steps into Work Supported Internships

Find out more about our Gloucestershire Steps into Work Supported Internships

Steps into Work Traineeships

People aged 16 to 18 not in education or training benefit from our Steps into Work Traineeship. It is an excellent stepping stone to paid work or apprenticeship training. This six-month programme, which starts in September and March, sees learners spending one day in a classroom undertaking maths and English and three days in a work placement that matches your career aspirations. You will be supported by your tutor and job coach to complete your qualifications and gain paid work over 16 hours a week or secure an apprenticeship.

Find out more about Steps into Work Traineeships

Programmes for EHCP learners

This one-year programme is available for learners, many of whom progress from Skills for Work programmes. Students are 16 to 24-years-old, with an EHCP. The programme is designed to develop skills that will enable people to progress into long-term part-time or full-time paid work. The programme runs over four days a week, term time only and learners benefit from pastoral support and job coaching.

We take time to get to know you and your career aspirations before matching you with a host employer that you think will bring out the best in you. You will spend between two and three days a week in your employer’s organisation, which could be a business, charity or public sector organisation. Initially your job coach will accompany you to the placement, supporting you to settle in. The skills, knowledge and understanding you develop will be tailored to put you in a strong position to eventually gain long-term paid work.

Work Experience

Every National Star student can undertake work experience, helping many of them to progress to paid or voluntary work placements in their final year. The Work Experience team get to know students to help them find roles that they are interested in so they can work towards achieving their personal goals.

Find out more about Work Experience

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