In March we began to collaborate with FastTrack to Information Technology (FIT). We planned a series of four workshops that culminated in thirteen of the participants doing a mock interview for a job of their choosing. FIT worked individually with each person on Skills Assessment, CV preparation and interview skills.
Using a person centred approach each person undertakes 2 weekly one-to-one training sessions that is specific to their individual needs. These range from QQI levels 1- 3 component modules, to Asdan short Courses (Careers & Experiencing work) and Towards Independence modules. The modules all focus on work and career preparation and allow the participants to learn about different career options, how to apply for a college course or skills needed for specific jobs. They will complete these for moderation in May/June 2022.
The participants are all undertaking practical employment skills training in a variety of settings. Due to covid restrictions many of them are on the ChildVision campus. These include reception, the café and gardencentre as well as in the soap, horticulture, shredding and weaving enterprises. Other students have secured placements in a local equine centre, Tesco and undertaking a coaching skills placement with Blind Sports.
During the summer months we provided 38 community visits in over 9 counties around Ireland. These visits were impacted by covid as many businesses would not facilitate work placements. However, the team adapted the visits and supported the participants to interview people in different work places of interest to them. The students interviewed staff in a local ETB, a garden centre, a hotel, Pennys, a café and a music academy and a shredding facility.
We distributed a survey to see how participants felt about the community visits. 19 people availed of summer provision hours, 18 of whom partook in community visits. Our survey response rate was 94.7%.
The vast majority 76.5% stated that the community visits were their favourite part 66.7% would like contact with ChildVision during holiday times in the future.
The overwhelming majority, 94.4% felt that it helped to reduce their social isolation and nearly 89% of people felt that it helped to improve their employment knowledge and skills.