From education to employment

Industry Week prepares students for working life

@BarnsleyCollege Learning for Living and Work students received insight into the world of work at their virtual Industry Week, including talks from comedians, business people and wellbeing advocates.

The Learning for Living and Work department supports students with learning disabilities or difficulties to prepare them for independent living or supported employment. The Industry Week enabled students to find out about different types of job roles, how to achieve their career goals and get ahead in the world of work through speaking with established professionals in interactive online sessions.

Students were taken through the various aspects of running a creative business and how to market it by Raychel McGuin, owner and founder of Art by Raychel; creative and communications company E=MC2; and personal and business wellbeing initiative Being in Full Colour. Sheffield Sharks Team Captain, Mike Tuck, delved into the inner workings of a professional basketball team and former Barnsley College student, Laura Whittaker, took the students on a creative writing journey whilst telling them the different career prospects there are in writing, how to get into the field and tips they can use to enhance their writing skills.

Students learnt how to gain experience and work in the third and voluntary sectors from Jodie Marshall from A Social Enterprise and Sheffield Enterprise Network; Laura Lawton from Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Rachel Neale, Volunteering Manager at Barnsley CVS.

Learning for Living and Work student, Bethany Martin, said: “Careers in the third and voluntary sector was the best talk as this opened up ways of getting into employment after finishing College. I gained a better understanding into what services are open to young people who have additional needs.”

Throughout the week the students also attended wellbeing sessions intended to teach them the importance of looking after themselves physically, mentally, and financially.

Students heard from former Barnsley College student and mental health motivational speaker Tom Dickinson; Kirsty Morgan from Virgin Money; and Sheffield Sharks’ Marko Backovic shared the Healthy Living Project. Adrian Ashworth introduced the students to his Therapy Husky, Thunder, and renowned comedians and performers Gareth Berliner and Kiruna Stamell, who seek to champion diversity and disability, ran workshops in adaptive resilience for the students.

Learning for Living and Work student, Joshua Harris, said: “Therapy huskies are used for people with reduced hearing or sight and to make them happy. The most interesting part was seeing Thunder change so many people’s lives. I would rate it 10 out of 10 because of how much interesting information there was and how cute Thunder was. If I could give some feedback, I would tell Adrian he’s an amazing person and that I’m very proud of him and Thunder, so keep up the good work, you’re an absolute legend.”

Lee Perks, Cultural Capital and Personal Development Co-ordinator within the Barnsley College Enterprise Team, said: “Industry Weeks at Barnsley College are a fantastic way to provide our students with the information and understanding of the many different career paths in their field. This industry week for our Learning for Living and Work department has been a brilliant way to demonstrate to our students that there are a range of different careers available to them and the possible routes they can take to get there.

“The week’s activities were another example of Barnsley College working with businesses to lead the economic recovery and meet employers’ needs, both now and for future roles, by providing students and adults with the skills to succeed. I would like to personally thank all of our guests for their outstanding talks and workshops.”

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