Creating paid work experience for local people with additional needs

On Sunday 24th April we held a very productive creative thinking session for a group of local people who want to help us create paid work experience specifically for people with additional needs.

additional needs creative thinking sessionThe aim of the session was to share our experience and find out how our hub of social enterprises in Tywardreath could help to solve the issues they face in finding a job, gaining experience and working for an employer.

We discussed the wide range of regular tasks we could offer as paid work experience placements to let people with additional needs have the chance to make a useful contribution to our local businesses while they learn new skills and try lots of different types of roles.

By the end of the session we had figured out how this was going to work and what we will do next to make it happen.  We decided to offer paid work experience placements for the two local young people who attended the session with their families, they are coming for an induction day on Tuesday 3rd of May, then we will provide work experience days every Monday and Tuesday.

Here are some of the work experience tasks we will be able to offer people with additional needs:
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Administration
Beekeeping
Bike Maintenance
Bookkeeping
Building Cornish Walls
Bulk Buying Ordering
Catering
Clearing Barns
Communication
Community Events
Computer Skills
Cooking meals
Craft Activities
Creative Activities
Creative Thinking Events
Entrepreneurial activities

Fencing
Firewood Stacking
Floristry
Food Preparation
Garden Maintenance
Hoovering
Invoicing
Jet washing
Kitchen Duties
Landscaping
Looking After Animals
Making Honey
Meetings
Mowing
Networking
Order Processing

Painting
Photography
Property Maintenance
Retailing
Social Enterprise
Socialising
Stock Control
Tidying up
Unloading Deliveries
Updating Social Media
Vegetable Growing
Videoing
Washing Up
Watering Plants
Weeding

Obstacles in finding suitable work for people with additional needs

  • There are very few jobs in the local area that are suitable for their ability level.
  • It’s difficult to tell from job adverts if the job would be suitable for them.
  • Their CV’s with often entry level qualifications and little work experience are up against stronger candidates.
  • They apply for jobs and don’t even get a reply which knocks their confidence.
  • If they are long term unemployed and claiming benefits they are required to sign on daily at the job centre or attend a training course.

The main challenges they have face at work

  • Getting to the job by public transport
  • Pressured, chaotic or noisy work environments.
  • Social interactions and communication issues with other employees or customers.
  • Difficulty understanding and processing multiple instructions at once.
  • Needing supervision or management suited to their needs.
  • Not having a rota or regular tasks.

What can they do?
They have different strengths and levels of abilities but they can all make a useful contribution in the right work place that fits with their abilities.

  • Reliable and keen to work.
  • Jobs that reflect their interests and hobbies.
  • Repetitive regular tasks – organising and sorting.
  • Memory or visual reasoning and problem solving.
  • Creative tasks.
  • Physical strength.
  • Computer skills.
  • Outdoor activities – gardening, woodworking and practical tasks

Their aims

  • Gaining independence, confidence and work experience.
  • Getting them out the house and being active – rather than playing computer games.
  • Stay off benefits, especially not needing to go to the job centre.
  • Earning money to buy their own things and contribute to the household budget.
  • Taking the pressure and worry off family members supporting them.
  • Having a routine and doing something interesting or useful.
  • Working locally within walking or accessible by public transport journey.

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