graduation cake

Ace@Optalis is top of the class!

Reading College students are celebrating their graduation from a job-focused course run by the Wokingham-based Optalis Supported Employment Service. The course Ace@Optalis provides specialist training, coaching and support to enable students to make the transition from college into a work environment.

The course involves students attending Trinity Court at Optalis and participating in group training sessions, weekly 1-1 meetings with a job coach, goal setting, vocational profiling, managing stress, interview practice, travel training, work experience and paid work in partnership with local businesses and organisations such as the Forest School Wokingham, Sainsbury’s in Newbury, Poundland in Reading, MITIE Basingstoke, Rivermead leisure centre, Berkshire Rooms in Wokingham.

Sylvie De Groote at the Forest School said: “Being able to offer employment to the students has been very rewarding. We have a very good relationship with Optalis, Donna Morgans has been brilliant and supported us every step of the way, so have the Employment Coaches, they are always at the end of the phone or email – it’s been great!”

Don James (Berkshire Rooms) said, “I found my experience working with Optalis to be very rewarding and also very beneficial to my company.”

Shantelle Black, one of the SES graduate students who now works at the Forest School said, “I love my new job; it’s busy but the staff are lovely and I feel like I am making a real contribution.”

The students were presented with graduation certificates by Wokingham Council’s Mayor, Cllr Bob Pitts at the Optalis office at Trinity Court on 13 June. The award ceremony was packed with students, parents, employers and colleagues who enjoyed a specially-baked cake and tea following the certificate presentations.

More information about the service available from Donna Morgans, Supported Employment Service manager on (0118) 989 0500, or email:

Photo captions: The Ace@Optalis celebration cake; Proud graduates of the Ace@Optalis course with their certificates; SES staff with Wokingham Mayor Cllr Bob Pitts

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