As many of you may know from this blog, I run The Manchester Show Choir outside of New Bridge and last night we were rehearsing ‘Celebration’ by Kool and the Gang. Apparently that was very appropriately timed as today I have had some FANTASTIC news! After 9 months of hard work, I received a phone call today from the Department for Education who have now approved our application to become a Specialist Post-16 Institution!! In layman’s terms this means that we will officially open the Future Finders Employability College in September and our fantastic supported internship course for 19-25 year olds will continue to run next year, still based at Medtia Square.
I really am over the moon and I shall certainly be celebrating this weekend! It is fair to say that this wasn’t a one man job though, and I can’t take all of the credit for our success. I would like to thank all of my job coaches and senior job coaches for their support and also our Operational Director, Rita, and our Finance Director, Nigel, for their input on our winning bid! We have already filled all our places at the new college in September and now, having finally been given the nod, we can get started on another new chapter which will ensure the best possible outcomes for our young people!
On that note, our Future Finders students continue to amaze me. One of our students, Daniel, has a working interview next week with Kelvin Lord, a large transport company where he has already passed his sit down interview to be a valet for their fleet of trucks. We also have two students starting a working interview after half term at a major retail outlet and another one of our students, Jack, is expecting a paid outcome at the Beefeater Inn in the next week or so – we are just negotiating contracts! So, all in all, an absolutely BRILLIANT week for us at Medtia!
Now for another ‘Day in the Life of…’ feature, this time from Tia at Tesco who is also our ‘Worker of the Week’ this week! Tia is on our pre-internship course and I am not exaggerating when I say that she is smashing her new job! Tia is now working independently on the tills and from Monday she will be working independently without the support of a job coach! Well done, Tia, over to you…
A day in the life of Tia
This term I have been working in Tesco at Greenfield. This is the store..
I arrive at Medtia Square for registration and then then head off into Oldham for the bus, it’s the 180 to Greenfield..
The journey takes about half an hour and the bus stop is right outside the store. I take my coat and bag into the back and put them in a locker and put on a Tesco jacket..
Here I am checking the dates on the yoghurts to make sure they are all in date. I also pull all the stock to the front of the shelf so that it looks neat and tidy before the new stock is put behind..
I have my lunch break at 12.15 for 20 minutes. I can sit in the staff room and get a cup of tea or a glass of juice free to have with my sandwich..
In the afternoon I completed training on the till with my job coach and Greg who was really helpful and taught me how to use the till..
We talked about good customer service..
Later in the day I was able to serve members of the public and my job coach was there to support me..
At the end of the day I collect my things and walk over to the bus stop to head back to Medtia Square..
All in a day’s work!
And now some more updates on our work experience students from across the Group…
Work experience this week has been with some of the students from the Learning Centre. We are currently working at Dr. Kershaw’s Charity Shop in Oldham. They have offered a number of placements to our learners who are really enjoying their time there – Rezaul and Sarah have been no exception this week!
They have both worked together in the stock room to get the jobs done that they have been set, going through the donations and preparing them for sale. One of their main tasks at the shop is to arrange the coat hangers and hang up the clothes ready for them to be steamed before going on sale. This week Sarah has been in charge of checking the stock and hanging it up – an important part of the job, making sure the clothes are suitable and checking for rips or missing buttons. She then hangs them and sizes them..
As Sarah finishes her job, she passes all her clothes over to Rezaul who this week has worked with the manager to learn how to use the steamer. The steamer makes sure that all the clothes are clean and crease free, ready to be put on the shop floor for sale..
Once they are ready, both Sarah and Rezaul take the clothes down to the shop floor and hung them on the racks ready for the public to see what the shop has on offer. Working in Dr. Kershaw’s is a great experience for the students – learning new skills, interacting with the public and spending time in a working environment ready for their transition to the next stage of their education.
We have yet more exciting news this week – we have confirmed our partnership with the Social Care Department for Oldham and we will be offering a Supported Employment Service for adults aged 19 to 25 from September. This means that young people who have moved on from New Bridge or left college and are eligible for social care support and in receipt of a Personal Budget can buy into our Future Finders service and gain the valuable support that they may need to move into employment. We are extremely excited about this partnership work with the Local Authority and look forward to welcoming our first cohort of young adults in September!
Finally, we have once again been working with our buildings teams this week to look at how we can prepare the building for our growth in the Summer. Our numbers at Horizons continue to increase and then, of course, we have a college to open and a new employability service! There will be some building works going on over the coming months but we are confident that the changes we make will meet the needs of all the young people at the centre. We may have a few months of some disruption and mess but it will be worth it in the end!
I think I will leave it there this week and save the updates from our other pathways at Medtia until the next blog. Have a fab weekend….I’m off to ‘celebrate good times’!
Director of Employment & Co Head of Site at Medtia Square
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