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Abbot’s Lea School is a maintained special school that provides the highest quality of education for nearly 300 students aged 3-19 living with Autism and a range of associated communication, interaction, social, imagination, sensory and learning differences. This month, Jake Croxton Apprenticeship Support by Be More Skills Broker visited the school to talk to students in their sixth form about apprenticeships and the opportunities they provide.

Headteacher, Mrs Ania Hildrey welcomed the visit and the support to help the school’s students on their career journey.   “Currently in the UK, less than 6% of people with SEND make it into paid employment. Our aim at Abbot’s Lea School is to actively change that. Our vision is to increase the opportunities our students have of finding quality, paid employment post-education. We ensure this by providing consistent, high quality careers education for all of our students that is delivered in a meaningful and appropriate way for their needs and circumstances,” explains Mrs Hildrey.

Jake Croxton spent an afternoon with sixth form students talking about apprenticeships and how to find and apply for them. The visit and future visits fit the six strands the school has to support their students’ career prospects and aspirations. These include: vocational employability lessons; work related learning opportunities; work experience with local businesses; internships; social enterprise activities and planning futures.

Students were treated to an interactive presentation that began by explaining an apprenticeship was a job with training built in that lead to a qualification. The advantage of an apprenticeship is that it builds practical experience complemented by news skills and information provided by a college or university. Jake let students know that there were over 600 different types of jobs that could be trained for with an apprenticeship. Apprentices’ training is paid for by the employer, so once qualified they are not burdened by a student loan. Jake mentioned the large number of businesses that have apprenticeship programmes including many corporate companies from Sky to Tesco.

Jake also talked about inclusive apprenticeships. This is a national programme designed to provide a range of support to young people with learning difficulties or disabilities. It ensures they receive the appropriate support, mentoring and adjustments to complete their apprenticeship journey successfully. It includes an individual learning plan and support from both mentors, tutors and the college or university providing the training for your qualification.

“The afternoon visit was invaluable as it shows our students the opportunities available through apprenticeships when they leave school. Our students had many questions for Jake as they explored this route to embark on a career journey that builds skills and experience. We look forward to future visits from the Apprenticeship Support by Be More team,” said the Headteacher.

If you would like the Apprenticeship Support by Be More team to visit your school please email us. We would love to hear from you.

If you would like further information on apprenticeships and how to apply for them, talk to the Apprenticeship Support by Be More Team. The team is funded by the European Social Fund & LCR Strategic Investment Fund and provides impartial information and advice on apprenticeships across the Liverpool City Region.