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Date posted: 19th July 2021
Pupils from Priestley Smith School took a step closer to being ready for the world of work thanks to a project run by Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) in partnership with the school.
Priestley Smith is a specialist school for children with a vision impairment. Students in year 13 were invited to take part in the project that simulated each stage in securing a job.
Suzy McDonald, Habilitation Specialist at Priestley Smith School, said: “As a school, we are very aware of the challenges facing blind and partially sighted people when looking for employment. It’s important they learn about the range of career options open to them and develop their skills in CV and application writing, interview techniques etc.
“It’s been particularly challenging this year as work experience opportunities have been so restricted. So, we were particularly pleased to work with TPT on this project to help prepare our young people for the future.”
The employment and student support teams at TPT, together with Suzy, created three fake job roles for a Trainee Sports Coach, Customer Services Assistant and Student Support Co-Ordinator.
The students each produced a CV and personal statement which they sent to TPT before the set deadline. They then attended mock interviews.
Students were able to use the resources on the TPT website including the Tips for interviewing to prepare.
Following the interviews they received feedback on what went well or not so well.
The whole programme was well received by the students. Among the comments from students were:
“I was so nervous at the start but I really appreciated being able to practise my answers again at the end. I think that will help me in my next interview.”
“The question about working as part of a team was really hard to answer but the feedback has made me realise that a class project can be a team.”
“I really enjoyed the interview and dressing up smart for it. It made it feel real, even though I knew it wasn’t for a real job.”
Jeff Page, Head of Employment at TPT, said: “This was a great collaboration that will help prepare the students for when they leave full time education. It really demonstrated to them the importance of preparing for interviews and interview techniques, as well as how to structure their applications.”
Suzy added: “This real-world practise was so useful for the students. They did a lot of preparation for it, which gave us the added bonus that they then have evidence to add to their portfolios for their ASDAN qualification*.
“Thanks again to all at TPT. It was an invaluable experience for the students involved!”
*ASDAN qualifications support learners’ aspirations from being able to live as independently as possible through to developing the skills to gain employment. They are approved and regulated in England (Ofqual), Wales (Qualifications Wales) and Northern Ireland (CCEA) and are supported by high quality resources.