VU Polytechnic’s Transition and Work Education Program
The Work Education Programme is specifically designed to support students within intellectual disabilities. The aim of the course is to support each student within it to develop the skills that they need to go on to employment or further education and training. Within our course, we also focus on developing independence, independent travel, and responsibility for all aspects of students lives to gain access and interaction within the community, and to improve personal development in all aspects of the students lives. The work experience every student will do for two to three weeks per term. And they go out for five days a week, working the work hours that you would normally work in that job, with the aim being that students will undertake a career that they’re interested in, and have a good exposure to it and find out whether they’re really suited to it, and whether they like it. And also if they do like it, what it is that they need to improve on in order to get into that carreer. We’re able to have freedom in choosing where we want to go for our work placements and what we learned in the classroom is what we take out to work. I think it’s really helpful that the teachers get us prepared for that now for the future and it makes a difference in confidence. The work experience is definitely key because it helps them gain the confidence to know what’s out there. Because it can be quite daunting when people get to that stage in life. I like how it challenges you in certain ways, especially with the work placements, like you get that chance to see what you like, what you don’t like, what you can cope with, what you can’t cope with. The teachers, yeah, they’ve been a great help for all of us. I feel like together we can discuss goals and we can achieve them. I think it’s important to have that relationship and it’s wonderful. I think it’s help me to grow more as a person. It’s help me to feel more comfortable talking to new people. Which has always been a struggle for me to talk to new people, so I feel like I’ve built confidence in that field. On a personal note, I find it really enjoyable to be part of such a programme. Just to see the success and achievements that the students have over the one or two years that they’re with us, and where they’re leading on to. It’s great to catch up with them in the future and sit down and have a chat about how Work Ed has really helped them progress in their careers and their lives in general.