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St Mary's Welcomes Local College Students for Work Placements

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At the start of February St Mary’s University, Twickenham welcomed five students with special education needs (SEN) from Richmond upon Thames College (RUTC) beginning their work placements. The work experience project, now in place for several years, sees RUTC students undertake work experience placements at St Mary’s, once a week for 12 weeks. The aim of this project is to equip the young people with employability skills in a real work setting and to improve their chances of getting into paid work when they leave education. Typically SEN students are offered fewer work experience opportunities than their non-disabled peers; this project recognises that the opposite is required. A critical element of the project is the role of the mentors from St Mary’s, as they not only have a teaching function but will also support the young people to develop their understanding of workplace culture and to build up their confidence and expectations. Over the 12 weeks the students will learn and develop new skills under the supervision of their mentors in the Catering, Housekeeping, Stores Management, and Sport St Mary’s teams. Organisational Development Advisor Dominika Sarosiek said, “We thank our mentors for their dedication, effort and time put in to supervise the placements and wish the students every success during their time at St Mary’s”. Tutor of the Adult Independent Living Group at RUTC Shona Corben said, “We are so delighted that St Mary’s give us this fantastic opportunity each year. The students benefit tremendously from this real-life experience.”
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