Work Experience 2021-22
Work Experience & Autism Friendly Employer Programme with LNSEN (London Neurodiversity SEND Employer Network), The Courtyard's Outreach initiative:
● After the success of virtual work experience placements during the lockdown (we started to increase autism awareness by asking companies to allow our young people to play to their strengths), work experience at The Courtyard upgraded the offer of work experience opportunities.
● This year we are offering tailored work experience placements to our Y11 and Sixth formers. These opportunities are tailored to their needs and likes, students say which industries they are interested in, if they want the placement to be in person/ virtual, indoors/ outdoors, if they want to do it on their own/ as part of a team, etc.
● We then work with employers to create meaningful work experience projects (please see below some examples), we deliver Autism Awareness training, and help employers become Autism Friendly employers after our students successfully complete the work experience placements. We also encourage them to become members of LNSEN (London Neurodiversity SEND Employer Network) and attend our monthly webinars (i.e., next one on the 15th December: Autistic adults’ views and experiences of requesting and receiving workplace adjustments in the UK. Jade Davies, from the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (UCL), will discuss workplace adjustments for autistic employees. She will draw on research evidence to explore the benefits of implementing adjustments, examples of common adjustment requests and how employers can improve their approach to workplace adjustments.)
● Autism Awareness training is compulsory as it’s key for employers to have an understanding of what autism is, and learn how to support our young people.
● List of WE placements 2021-2022:
Freightliners City Farm
The Garden Classroom.
The University of Oxford
Sir Robert McAlpine
Dorset County Hospital
● These meaningful WE projects are having a very positive impact on our students (i.e. self-esteem, confidence, attendance, motivation towards learning) and also on the employers, as they are realizing that autism is really a competitive advantage. They can see with each task that is given to the students what their skill sets are, and how the creation of an Autistic/ Neurodiverse talent pool could be of strategic importance. Having more Autism Friendly employers benefits both the employer and the young person.
● Two examples of this, WorkDay invited two students to deliver a presentation to their entire marketing team based in EMEA on the 14th December. This will was a fantastic opportunity for the students (developed confidence, public speaking and presentation skills), and it was hugely inspirational for their wider marketing team; Sir Robert McAlpine, signed off a design created by one of our students (please find attached).
● Case studies, our student’s contribution to the world of FAIRsharing with Oxford E-Research Centre, University of Oxford; University of Oxford-.STEM Ambassadors; Sir Robert McAlpine; The Garden Classroom
● Examples of WE projects:The University of Oxford; Sir Robert McAlpine; Multiplex; Dorset County Hospital
Information about our LNSEN corporate training programme