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A Collaborative Approach - A Focus on the Future Employability Programme

14 Apr 2022

It was very informative and helpful. The volunteers were friendly and my interviewer did not mind that she had to explain something to me.

Student participant

With funding from The Thomas Pocklington Trust, Leicestershire Cares Education Team ran a pilot employability programme for young people with a visual impairment. Collaborative working with the Vision Support Team and the students’ school support workers enabled us to bring together thirteen students from five schools across the city, for three informative, fun, inspiring sessions putting the young people’s experiences at the heart of the programme. Before we started the sessions we asked what they’d like to find out about in relation to employability and used their ideas to inform our programme.

I liked learning about access to work. I learnt a lot. I want to be a Look mentor so I can help children.

Student participant

With the expert guidance from Vision Support Teacher, Julie Speirs, we were able to adapt and modify our employability resources to develop a programme that would be accessible and relevant for the students.

We recruited volunteers from our businesses to share their work experiences in order to inform and inspire. Aleksandra from Lloyds Banking Group, who is blind, spoke about her career and offered inspirational advice. Sophie and Mollie from Hinckley and Rugby Building Society gave great talks about their careers and the types of skills needed. Deepa from Hinckley and Rugby Building Society gave a great talk on CVs. We workshopped good v bad CVs and gave advice on creating a CV, and information and discussion on how and if / when to disclose a disability.

Very informative, very good.

Student participant

Ashleigh, from Hinckley and Rugby BS who has a hearing impairment, gave a wonderfully insightful talk on expectations and behaviours in the workplace and the students enjoyed playing a workplace scenario game. Carlton, who works in legal advice and is blind, gave brilliant insights into rights and responsibilities and what to expect from employers if you have a vision impairment.

I liked meeting new people with a visual impairment, learning more about jobs, listening to people with a visual impairment speak about their jobs.

Student participant

For our third and final session, we went online for a session on preparing for interviews where Tracy from HRBS gave a wonderful, informative talk on preparing for an interview and what they look for in a candidate. Jess from Joules gave a brilliant talk on what to do during an interview. The students participated in a mock one-to-one interview with business volunteers – Tracy from HRBS, Laura from Samworth, Carley from Joules and our very own Helen, from Leicestershire Cares.

Student M said he ‘did really good at the interview’ and ‘overall it was an excellent experience.'

Highly recommended sessions! 1000000 / 10 😊

Student participant

Huge thanks to all our volunteers, the Vision Support Team and all the support staff who assisted the students on the day - from Soar Valley College, Crown Hills Community College, Beaumont Leys School, Moat College, Ellesmere College and Sir Jonathan North College.

For more information on A Focus on the Future project, please contact