14 Dec

Well, this week has got us all feeling festive! On Tuesday we had an amazing Christmas dinner over at First Choice Homes in their conference room. The food was provided by the Atrium and Becki, Sammy and Toni did an incredible job at preparing an amazing dinner! Thank you ladies!

Colette was awarded this week’s ‘Worker of the Week’ for working extremely hard making decorations and getting the room ready for Christmas lunch – well done Colette, the room looked amazing!

For all of our students, we have now been talking about next placements and many taster visits have been arranged for next week. One term gone already and I hear there may be some exciting employment news for one of our students very soon!!

Our job coach, Anne-Marie, has the latest update on our students..

Another busy week at Medtia for our Future Finders! Monday as always is our classroom day, working on our Maths and English Functional Skills. We have been playing a new interactive quiz in English looking at using the right homophones and punctuation in our sentences. In Maths this week we have looked at how we can apply our knowledge to healthy eating with portion sizes, weights of different types of foods and how we divide a plate to make it healthy..

We followed this theme through into Employability and looked at the way healthy eating can help us in the workplace – being work ready, having enough energy to get us through the day and helping with our appearance. We also discussed the link back to Health and Safety and how eating healthily can keep us alert and focused at work which can help us stay safe.

This week has been slightly different as Tuesday was our Christmas Jumper and Christmas Dinner day, so we were not on placement as usual. It was nice to be able to spend some time together as a group, just catching up, watching Christmas films and getting in to the festive spirit..

After all the festivities we were back on placement on Wednesday and Thursday. As you know, we work hard as Job Coaches to keep building on our working relationships with our employers. Here’s how our students have been getting on this week:

  • Chloe continues to impress at the Tesco store in Greenfield. She has also been applying for jobs for over the Christmas period – good luck Chloe! 
  • Last week Sebastian helped Age UK in Uppermill make sure the shop looked suitably festive ~ he was particlarly proud of his efforts decorating the Christmas tree..

  • Gary is continuing to do a fantastic job with the Environmental Services in Fitton Hill. His boss there emailed to say, “My personal feedback on Gary is…when speaking to him, since our first meetings has really come out of his “shell” and is much more confident communicating with people and good to work with.” 
  • Tara has been at the Naughty but Nice Café in Shaw – she has begun to go to placement on her own, which is fantastic for promoting her independence. Feedback from the staff: “She is doing great, wish I could tell you more but that’s all I can say, she is doing a brilliant job.”

A bit of a plea from us ~ we have recently set up a Facebook page here called Future Finders Employability College Students and each week we write about our journeys, the opportunities that we have been given and we post links to this blog. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE can you find, like and share our @FutureFindersCollege page so we can access as many different people and different opportunities as possible. As you know, our Future Finders students are a great group and their skills and willingness to learn and build on their abilities continue to amaze me. Thank you.

A few weeks ago, we mentioned that we had met with another employer to discuss a potential new placement. I’m delighted to tell you that we have now we signed on the dotted line and the employer has met with the young person who will be working on placement…..with Oldham Council based in the Civic Centre! The fabulous young person who has secured the position is Brittany.

Brittany will be working in the mailroom to start with, delivering post around the building and, as her confidence and understanding of the role grows, so will her responsibilities, from delivering post to answering the phones and diverting calls around the building.

She will be doing a couple of settling in sessions between now and Christmas to get her used to the staff and the jobs she will be doing. Good luck Brittany!

We’re very excited to be working with Oldham Council. Our job coach, Colin, has more details..

This week’s employer profile welcomes Oldham Civic Centre who are providing an Administration Assistant placement, working closely with the different departments.

This placement will give our students valuable experience and opportunities to work within a busy office setting, helping with various roles such as inputting data, filing, organising post in and out and other general administration duties. The placement will help to boost social and communication skills, organisation skills, work ethic, understanding the importance of working as part of a team and working independently.

One of the Managers at The Civic Centre said: 

This is a fantastic opportunity to work with Future Finders and offer valuable experience to students in a busy working environment, we really feel that this will be an amazing experience for all involved.

A student who has trialled this placement is equally enthusiastic:

I enjoy working in the offices, there is lots to do and the staff are really nice and helpful.

With this placement being a new and exciting opportunity for Future Finders, we are looking forward to continuing to build a fantastic working relationship with Oldham Council that will continue to have a positive impact on the students that access the different job roles available to them.

I’m sure that Brittany will do really well at the Civic Centre in the New Year and I’m looking forward to bringing you news of how she is getting on in her new placement!

Our job coach, Bethany has an update for us now from another of our placement providers..

As well as supporting our post-19 students in their work placements, we also offer work experience to the younger students from across the New Bridge Group. This week’s ‘day in the life’ comes from Sophie and Matthew who are both in Year 13 at the Learning Centre..

A Day in the Life of Matthew and Sophie  
RSPCA

Our work experience is at the RSPCA Shelter at Strinesdale. We currently go on a Thursday morning from 10am-12pm. Our main job at the RSPCA is to spend some nurture time with the cats.

The first thing we have to do is sign in to say that we have arrived and are on site. It is important that we do this so that we are accounted for in the checks when they are doing fire register if the fire alarm was to go off..

We then go and put our coats away in the lockers and put on one of the ‘RSPCA Volunteers’ t-shirts. This is so that other people in the building know that we are volunteers and visitors to the building know who we are too..

We then go and check the board in the office to see which cats we are to spend nurture time with. It is important that we check the board so we know if any cats have had nurture time already, if any cats can’t have any nurture time due to medical reasons or if the cats are under assessment and need to be assessed by the vets. We also have to put a tick at the side of the cat we are doing, as well as putting our initials next to it, so that we know who has completed nurture time with that cat..

Once we have chosen the cat we are going to spend time with, we have to make sure that we put the correct PPE on. This includes wearing a disposable apron and gloves which we change when we change cats. This is to prevent any bacteria from being passed from cat to cat..

We then go and spend our time with the cats. We spend at least 20 minutes with each cat. Each cat is different and some cats want to play and some cats are happy to have a stroke from us..

We have to make sure that we dispose of our PPE after spending time with each of the cats to stop any bacteria spreading..

After we have spent 20 minutes with each cat, we have to fill in the cats’ behavioural observations sheets. We have to put how the cats have been with us so any changes in their behaviours are noted and, if needed, the cats can be monitored more closely..

After this we get back to nurturing as many cats as we can whilst we are on our work experience! When it time to go back to the Learning Centre, we make sure we go to the lockers and collect all our belongings and sign out to show we have left the premises.

This will be my last blog of 2018! Another year over… I am off next Friday as I am jetting off to Miami for the start of my Christmas holiday. I would like to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic New Year. I look forward to seeing all of our students when we return on 7th January.

Daniel
Head of College

You can view our previous blog entries here

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