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SES launches new work experience programme

Our Supported Employment Service (SES) has recently launched a work experience programme, the aim of which is to give clients the opportunity to experience a range of job roles at Optalis services, via placements of up to eight weeks. This is a great chance for those who may have limited work experience, are career-changers, or who wish to try something new! We have now allocated six clients to appropriate placements.

The placements are beneficial to our clients, who gain both experience and a credible reference. They are also beneficial to teams at Optalis who gain a much needed ‘extra pair of hands’ and the experience of supporting the work experience candidate as a result.

Our first placement took place at Westmead Day Service and has been a great success. The client is a student who attends a residential college and wanted to get some practical work experience during the holidays. At Easter, he undertook a placement where he experienced gardening, cleaning computers, vacuuming, and helping to wash the centre’s mini buses. The client worked very hard, and received great support from the staff at Westmead.

Another client, who is a career changer, has recently started a support work placement at with our Learning Disability Day Service (Wokingham base). After his first week, he said: “I like the satisfaction of having helped people and making new friends, which is something my previous jobs in business lacked for me. Thank you Optalis for giving me this opportunity to gain some valuable experience to enable me to start a new and more rewarding career.” He has since told us that he definitely wants to pursue support work as a career!

Acting Deputy Manager at the Day Service (Wokingham), Kim Davis, said: “I am thrilled to give the opportunity to SES customers to see what we do as support workers in the lives of vulnerable adults. I genuinely believe that we make a difference to our customers, and if others want to take on this fantastic but challenging role as a career then this is a great way to try it and see what it’s like.”

Further placements are due to take place in the near future, at: the Acorn Centre, the Crescent Centre, Pinehaven Day Service, and Westmead Day Service. These will be in support work, befriending, administration, reception, and vehicle maintenance.

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