Autistic people bring unique qualities and diverse perspectives to the workplace. Our Work Experience Programme has been designed to demonstrate to both employers and our students the mutual benefit of working together. An employer will benefit from the excellent skills an autistic employee can bring and our students will benefit from the opportunity to be employed in something they love.
For our students - By providing our students with the skills and support they need means they can approach employment with confidence and gain a real insight into the world of work. We want each and every one of our students to work in a career they are passionate about, which gives them personal fulfilment.
By giving them access to work experience opportunities as well as mentoring, inspirational speakers and exploring entrepreneurial options we hope to guide them to their chosen career as smoothly as possible. All students will be supported through a job application process from writing CVs, to preparing for interviews so that they have the skills and tools they need to feel confident and safe as they apply for roles.
For employers - we provide training for employers on neurodiversity and autism in the workplace so that they have the knowledge, confidence and awareness of the adaptations and understanding that are necessary to make any interactions as productive and comfortable as possible.
Our job is to create a positive experience for both the student and the employer. We believe that, with the right support and encouragement, many of our students can access the career they chose through apprenticeships, employer training schemes, university or employment and many employers can benefit from the excellent skills that an autistic employee can bring.
If you are an employer and are interested in finding out more about our Work Experience programme please get in touch.
Main contact: Corné Van Deventer, Work Experience Coordinator
Phone number: 01202 483360
Student Feedback -
I have completed two external work experience placements, one at the hotel and one at the Bournemouth International Centre, where I was helping at The Careers and Apprenticeships show.
Before I started my Work Experience at the Marriot Hotel, I had an interview with Zoe Nixon about my skills and what I would be doing while working at the hotel. Work experience enables me to develop my listening and organization skills, and I learnt to work as part of a team.
I found that I had to develop my positivity, and perseverance while completing tasks. I’ve learnt to give my best and try new things which I’ve never done before, and I also liked the staff giving me advice and feedback on tasks I had to do.
At the Careers and Apprenticeship Show, I worked with a group of students from other schools handing out leaflets and bags to students before they went into the main exhibition. This allowed me to work with different people throughout the day.
For future work experience, I would like to do work in the theatre or work on special events including exhibition days or openings of new buildings.
Student Feedback -
I completed my Work Experience placement at the Christchurch Library. My tasks were tidying all the books up from the trolley or different places around the library.
Depending on the topic of the book, I had to put them away in the correct section. For example, Science book, History or Terror. I used my listening skills when I was being taught what I needed to do and my communication skills during my time in the library.
The time that I spent in the library was very positive because I enjoyed it and I learnt many things and developed my listening and communication skills further. I can say that I feel confident going over there and reading books on my own or playing table games.
Student Feedback -
On Wednesday the 27th April I spent the day completing a driver training course on the Moors Valley Railway. I arrived at Kingsmire station and met my driving instructor Geoff. Geoff helped to teach me all about the railway and its engines. I spent the day learning to drive a little red engine called Talos.
I was given a set of overalls and gloves to wear for the day, this made me feel awesome and like a proper driver. All morning Geoff showed me how to drive the engine. This involved many tasks such as understanding how to use the regulator, reverser and the brakes. I had to also know when to stoke the fire and fill the tanks with water. During the day, whilst driving out on the railway line, I had to know when to stop and let the water into the boiler and add more coals to the fire box.
I got to spend the day with other steam engine enthusiasts and we had many conversations about steam engines, it made me chuffed.
At the end of the day the rest of my class came to have a trip on the train. I took them around the railway line and they were very noisy, especially when driving under the tunnels. All in all I had a fantastic day.
We are launching our very own student portal. Watch this space for this exciting new development.