Wikis to Support Employment

JETLogoThe Tower Project is a community based voluntary sector organisation and leading service provider for children and adults with a learning disability, sensory disability, autism, physical disability or health related issue.

Its award winning Job Enterprise and Training Service (JETS) is East London’s leading provider of specialist supported employment services for disabled people and people with long term health conditions.

HCIW group at Olympic Park 3Scott Kennedy, Training and Development Manager for JETS, is using a Multimedia Advocacy approach and RIX Wikis to enable the young people he works with to showcase their work experience, their skills and aptitudes.

He said, “Wikis mean the young people can develop an online, highly visual CV, with pictures and video clips demonstrating exactly how they are applying their skills in a work environment. They can also present an up to date record of all their achievements.”

“A prospective employer can get to know the young person in a matter of minutes, seeing very quickly what they are capable of and where their talents lie.”

HCIW group at Olympic ParkJETS is currently involved in a new project with Hackney College, helping around 10 young people gain specific work experience in three different settings over four months. They will be working at the Olympic Park in Stratford, setting up an Easter market stall in Spitalfields Market and rolling up their sleeves to get stuck in at a social enterprise which provides a valeting service for community transport vehicles.

At the end of the four months, each young person will be awarded three Entry Level 3 Gateway Qualifications, in customer service, work experience and valeting proficiency.

The young people will be recording their experience and skills development each step of the way, through photos and film clips, updating their Wikis to show their progress and learning.

We will also be following them through the four months, seeing how they get on and celebrating their achievements. You’ll be able to get a regular update on their progress right here.

Update – 17/03/2016

The group has just completed their first project, working with Our Parklife in Stratford, and were delighted to receive their certificates at an award ceremony.

Graham Smithers, Head of Services, Tower Project, Job Enterprise and Training Service (JETS) said:

 “We would like to thank Our Parklife for their help with young people with special educational needs in east London, just 7% are in paid employment and schemes like this will go a long way to ensure that more young people with learning disabilities will gain paid employment in the future either at the Olympic Park or at similar thinking establishments.”

Rowan Longhurst, General Manager Our Parklife said:

 “It’s been fantastic having the students from the Tower Project join our dedicated team of Park Champion volunteers here at the Park. We’re committed to providing local young people with the opportunity to be the face of the Park through volunteering on a range of roles – whether it’s Customer services, event support or helping tend to the parklands. The skills they learn with us can open exciting new doors to a range of opportunities that are evolving on the Park all the time.”

Our Parklife is a Community Interest Company (CIC) with a mission to connect local people to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, by providing employment, training and volunteering opportunities.

160301 JETS group Our Parklife celebration

Top left to right.

Layla Conway – London Legacy Development Corporation; Kadir Yilmaz (19); Mohammed Miraj (19); Sean Hoffman (19); Piergiorgio Carrus – Hackney Community College; Luis Pais (23); Scott Kennedy – Tower Project; Stephen Jackson – Our Parklife

Bottom left to right.

Michael Hogarth (18); Matthew Trew (21); Terrance Frank (20); Arran Graham (19)

Key fact

‘The National Audit Office report “Oversight of special education for young people aged 16-25”, published in November 2011, estimates that supporting one person with a learning disability into employment could, in addition to improving their independence and self-esteem, increase that person’s income by between 55 and 95 percent.’