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Homefield College

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Career Programme

Homefield College supports and encourages students to develop and explore vocational areas, and in turn to achieve dreams and aspirations; all underpinned by the Gatsby Benchmarks. Through a tailored programme, specific to each student's individual needs, actions and support are put in place to facilitate achievement of planned outcomes.

The programme supports students with personal development, career management and career exploration, and is delivered via the following events, activities and careers assessments:

Vocational Sessions: Benchmark 4

Vocational sessions are designed to broaden students’ understanding of transferable skills and where they can be applied. Students can first sample each vocational area: Horticulture, Animal Care, Bread Making, Woodwork/Furniture Restoration, Catering, House Keeping and Floristry. The skills learnt can then be transferred into one of our vocational enterprises and/or an external placement of the student’s choice.

Vocational Enterprises: Benchmark 4

Homefield College has a range of vocational enterprises that act as stepping stones to an external placement:

• Sip & Surf is an internet cafe/ print shop located in the heart of Loughborough town centre. It provides students with valuable vocational learning, such as opportunities to develop customer service skills, monetary skills, task/time management and ICT.

• Barrow of Treats Café and additional Sweet Shop is in Barrow upon Soar. It is staffed by students and open to the public. Here students can sample what it would be like to work within both a Shop and Café, gaining valuable customer service skills, catering and food hygiene skills.

Connecting with Colleges: Benchmark 2, 7

Students gain an understanding of future study programmes that are available to them through college visits within their local area – linking aspirations to a career pathway. Students are also supported to apply Labour Market information in order to identify what skills/qualifications are required to achieve the outcomes they desire. We work with general further education colleges to extend the curriculum offer.

1-1 Personal Career Guidance Interviews: Benchmark 8

All students are offered a 1-1 Guidance Interview adapted to their needs, by a trained Level 6 Advisor. The interview establishes their areas for development, such as training needs, experiences to explore, and any further support needs. A plan of action is created, called a 'Pathway Plan'. The Pathway Plan is designed to give the student a clear vision of their next steps with SMART targets. Alongside our internal career guidance, external careers guidance advisors attend each student annual review.

Supported Internship

We offer supported internships that ultimately lead to employment. We currently offer Route 1 and 2.

Route 1: Is aimed at students with an EHCP/ SEN statement, aged 16-25. The supported internship can last between 6-12 months unpaid, with the opportunity to apply for a position within that organisation.

Route 2: Is like route 1, requires an EHCP/ SEN statement, yet extends up to age 38 and they must live in Leicestershire. This is funded through our charitable status.

During the supported internship programme, students will be supported/ trained in their chosen role by one of our trained job coaches. It is the job coach role to tailor the job around the student (job carving), making work more accessible through individualised resources. Throughout the student's internship their progress is assessed, identifying whether they need further or reduced support; always promoting independence.

Work place visits: Benchmark 4, 6

Students gain regular experiences of work by accessing a range of businesses through work place visits, both formal and informal. Our tutors support students to understand the skills and strengths being displayed and how their current skills can be applied to the situation; challenging stereotypical thinking. Providing experiences in the form of work place visits helps the student to make more of an informed choice regarding the future. This also contributes to them successfully attaining employment.

External work placements: Benchmark 4, 6

Work placements are available in a wide range of vocational areas: enabling students to experience working environments, and correcting misinterpreted beliefs surrounding different areas. They will further develop the transferable work skills they were introduced to in the vocational sessions and enterprises. It is here that students can see how their skills can be applied to a variety of tasks, allowing them to make informed choices surrounding their Career Path - whether that be further education, training and/or employment. Employers are invited to attend free awareness courses, provided by Homefield College, to give them a better understanding of student’s individual needs and specific disabilities such as autism.

Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG)

IAG sessions are available to support students to identify what is on offer locally and within their home areas. It is within this session that students can develop an understanding of what skills they have and where/how they can be applied. Students will also be given the opportunity to gain skills during specific workshops, such as CV writing and interview techniques. Every student will leave with either a CV or employment passport.

Community projects: Benchmark 4

We promote and encourage students to take part in community projects. Homefield currently works with The Green place in Sileby to raise money for their community project – this is run by Complete Wasters, demonstrating a greener and ethical way of living. Student are currently working with The Green place to produce 200 fairy doors within their woodwork sessions. This is to enable the Green Place to host a craft fair – raising money for a variety of projects and benefiting the local community and wildlife. The project supports student to develop transferable work skills, such as leadership, time management, stock check and recognising customer demand.

Students host regular market stalls in Loughborough Town centre. Students sell items produced in their vocational sessions, such as horticulture, craft and woodwork. The stall enables students to showcase their work to the public and helps to develop their confidence, communication and employability. The stall also provides an opportunity to show employers in and around Loughborough the capabilities of our students.

Events: Benchmark 2,4,5

We actively encourage students to take part in a range of events such as the Warning Zone, NEC Skills Show and Homefield Transition event.
The Warning Zone is a life skills centre which provides vital messages on personal and online safety. Here students develop an understanding of what hazards are and the situations they can occur. From this event they can transfer the knowledge gained to a range of environments, particularly work placements; allowing a greater independence.
The NEC skills show is designed to give young people the opportunity to see what is available to them: traineeships, apprenticeships and career paths. They can engage with other organisations/ businesses to develop an insight into job opportunities and gather more information on how to succeed in different professions.
The Homefield College Transition Event is held annually for parents/carers and students to gain more information as to what is on offer post Homefield. A range of provisions are invited from further education, day services/ clubs, supported living providers and employment services.

Mencap, Down Syndrome Association & OPUS: Benchmarks 5&6

We are currently working with Mencap & DSA to broker relationships with employers: aiming to provide students with a range of experiences and gain the potential to progress into Supported Internships within their local area. Mencap are also offering support through 'The Right Place' scheme to provide CV/ interview workshops.
Here at Homefield college we aim to provide students with a range of opportunities, located in their home areas. By working with OPUS we can offer those opportunities to our students; increasing their chances of gaining supported employment. OPUS is a recruitment agency, connecting Homefield College with employers.

Local Enterprise Partnership: Benchmark 5 & 6

We are also working in partnership with the LLEP who are working in partnership with The Careers & Enterprise Company to provide Enterprise Coordinators. They are trained to work with school leadership teams to build careers and employer engagement plans. Helping to make links and unlock relationships with other local businesses.

Parent and Carers: Benchmark 2

As part of our students' learning and development within the careers sector, it is important for all students and parents to develop an understanding of the Labour Market. This is embedded into the curriculum through a wide variety of sessions to aid students’ understanding of where their skills can be applied and future career opportunities. To gain an understanding of Labour Market Information within Leicester/Leicestershire, Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire, see our useful careers links.

We aim to keep parents/carers informed through our termly newsletter, which details student trips and projects. If you are a parent/carer and would like to know how careers is being implemented into your son's/daughter's programme, or to leave feedback regarding your/ their experience, you can contact our Careers Leader Charlotte Dobson for more information by email using the careers contact form, or calling Reception on 01509 815696 to be passed through.

Homefield College
217 Loughborough Road
LE12 7AR
Tel: 01509 814827 / 815696
(Office hours only)
Homefield has been heavily involved in a new venture that keeps young adults with special needs safe while using the Internet. Find out more.
Autism Accreditation - Disability Confident Employer - National Lottery Funded - East Midlands Specialist College Group - Association for Real Change