DYW (Fife): Special Schools Pilot Project
Developing the Young Workforce (Fife) has created a unique pilot project to help explore the world of work with young people who have additional support needs and disabilities.
To achieve this, Fife Council‘s Supported Employment Service (SES) have partnered with DYW and the five special schools in Fife, to provide opportunities to those young people who would benefit most from a tailored made program of support. The education staff are working in tandem with the disability employment specialists to provide weekly sessions and opportunities to senior pupils in each school.
The project has been designed to be flexible around the needs of the school, class and individual and therefore covers a wide scope of topics from teamwork and likes/dislikes to STEM careers and interviews. Many of the young people respond well to practical and sensory based tasks due to their learning style. As part of the project, young people have had opportunities to work with plumbing pipes, create electrical circuits and explore coding on a computer.
The project also aims to build relationships between local employers and the schools with all school’s being offered a visit from the Fire & Rescue Service, with others visiting nail salons and local trade hubs. These networks will continue to be developed as the project continues into 2022.
In the long-term it is hoped upon leaving school the participants of the project, where suitable, can receive support from the wider Supported Employment Service and continue their employment journey.
Recently the project was awarded a bronze award at Fife’s Business Diversity Awards for innovation.
“This has given the pupils a better understanding of life after school and the wider world of work, some pupils have shown interest in talking about different job roles following work with Brendan. Overall, this has been a very positive experience for the senior pupils within the school and has also supported staff with teaching on skills for learning, life and work.” – Julie Mackay, Class Teacher at John Fergus School
“Brendan has been visiting our senior class in Hyndhead School weekly, he is planning, preparing, and delivering different activities each week which suit the pupil’s interests and learning styles. He has developed positive relationships with pupils and staff, and the children always look forward to his visits. He has focussed on skills for work, and qualities which suit different occupations. He has organised visits from companies to school, and visits to places of work which suit the pupils’ interests and possible career options.” – Mari Edwards, Class Teacher at Hyndhead School