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Ace@Optalis course is a class act!

Ace@Optalis is a groundbreaking supported employment course designed and delivered by Optalis to provide a smooth transition from college into employment for students who have been studying work-related courses at Reading College.

The students were presented with graduation certificates by Wokingham Borough Council’s Mayor, Cllr Parry Batth at the Optalis office at Trinity Court, Wokingham in July.

The course involved students attending the Optalis head office and participating in group training sessions, weekly 1-1 meetings with a job coach, goal setting, body language, managing stress, interview practice, travel training, work experience and paid work in partnership with local businesses and organisations such as the Forest School, Become Digital, Sue Ryder, The Computer Doctor and Wokingham Library.

Following their successful completion of work experience the students received offers of paid work in roles such as trainee website administrator and coffee shop assistant.

One of the local organisations involved in the scheme is Become Digital Ltd, based in Reading who are working with Martin, one of the Optalis students. Tom Chant, Director of Become Digital Ltd said, “Working with Martin for the past few months has allowed us to get to know one another ahead of taking on a project together. It’s been really useful to watch how he works under the support of SES, to prepare us for working more closely over the coming months. SES have been a constant help in supporting both the student and myself. The service arranged our first meeting with the student, introduced us and helped everyone to settle into the work.”

The Forest School in Wokingham also provided employment for graduates from the course, firstly to manage traffic for the new 6th form block and latterly to work in the new coffee shop. “We are working with Bill Crawford and Sylvie de Groote at the school and it’s a partnership that continues to produce great benefits for all participants,” says Donna Morgans, SES Service Manager.

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