Celebrating Work Experience Month

Work experience week

Work Experience Month, a national celebration of work-based learning and the career opportunities it can create for young people, took place earlier this month. To celebrate National Star took part in the campaign by introducing its social media followers to some of the college’s Work Experience students and providing a behind the scenes tour of the exciting placements they went on last year.

Second-year students Francesca Vismara and Frazer Peters are both passionate about catering, and for their work experience they were matched to four-week placements at School House Cafe in Cheltenham. The pair were given a variety of tasks to complete, including making paninis, baking cakes, washing up, sticking labels onto cup holders and keeping the kitchen clean.

‘Frazer was brilliant,’ said School House Cafe. ‘He got on with the tasks brilliantly and they were done with accuracy.’

This year Frazer would like to do more work experience in a café in addition to further developing his communication and social skills by working in a theatre box office.

During her placement Francesca especially enjoyed making a batch of vegan brownies and millionaire’s shortbread. One of National Star’s occupational therapists supported her to use adapted kitchen tools and devised strategies to enable her to work as independently as possible. Francesca is excited to be returning to the cafe for more work experience after Christmas.

‘Francesca was our first volunteer in a wheelchair and was really patient as we worked out how to help her help us! Her enthusiasm and commitment to being with us and desire to make cakes was so encouraging! She is a star baker!’

‘I like being busy!’ added Francesca.

Thomas Langston-Deadman has been keen to try a variety of work placements as part of his goal to develop his confidence. Last year he supported National Star at Gloucestershire Business Show, visited Radio Winchcombe and went DJ’ing at Kingfisher Treasure Seekers. Now Thomas has started placements in Gloucestershire Constabulary’s post room and in the control centre of the Fire and Rescue Service.

‘It continues to be an absolute privilege to work alongside students from National Star,’ says Mark Woodward of Gloucestershire Constabulary.

‘Students bring enthusiasm and willingness to tackle complex tasks with multiple priorities and new ways for the Constabulary to provide first-class customer service. All we have to do is provide a workplace with reasonable adjustments, then watch the students realise their talents, spread their wings and learn to fly!’

Our Work Experience programme is offered to all National Star students all year round and provides the foundation for some to progress to paid and unpaid employment placements in their final year with a job mentor. The short-term placements provide opportunities across a wide range of work sectors, and recent partners have included Everyman Theatre, BBC Radio Gloucestershire, the Butterfly Garden, the Furniture Recycling Project, Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Dragon Vets and IT Schools for Africa. Placements are also available within National Star, and students can work in the StarBistro, on reception and within a variety of departments.

Find out more

If you’re an employer who is interested in offering a short-term Work Experience placement, please get in touch with Janet Clark, Job Mentor for Work Experience, at jclark@nationalstar.org or on 01242 527631 extension 2743.

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