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Experience the World of Work Week

by Emily Maguire

Knowsley Council has worked in partnership with Activate Community Education Services (CES) in Kirkby to organise a day for students to meet employees from different professions.

Activate is a registered charity, founded in 2005, that delivers personalised educational and vocational programmes for young adults with learning difficulties and disabilities in Knowsley.

The event took place during National Careers Week (6-11 March 2023) and students had the opportunity to learn more about a range of roles including a nurse, psychologist, accountant, music teacher and staff from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, ask questions and take part in a range of job-related activities.

Activities included using face props with the Psychologist to share how they were feeling, playing instruments and participating in songs with the Music Teacher, using the blood pressure monitor with the Nurse and engaging with staff from the Fire Service about the different roles and how to use the equipment on the fire engine.

Pupils were also set a challenge by local business First Class Signs and Engraving Ltd to design a sign for their chicken coop, Cluck and Collect, which is part of their Activate Village. Activate Village is a student enterprise consisting of a small animal centre, chicken coop, craft and farm shop and at the heart of the Village is the Coppice Coffee shop. The Village provides the resources to support students to engage in real-life work opportunities and develop independent skills in preparation for adulthood.

Ben had the winning design and using the latest computer controlled, direct printing technology, First Class Signs and Engraving turned Ben’s design into the real thing.

Ben said “I am so happy and proud to have won the design competition.”

Eilidh Prout, Owner and Accounts Manager at First Class Signs, added “It was a pleasure working with the students at Activate. We all had lots of fun identifying the different types of signs and then designing the sign for their Chicken Coop. Although all the finished signs were outstanding, Ben was such a worthy winner. Not only was his sign beautifully finished, his kindness to his fellow student, by helping her, was so lovely to see. I can’t wait to see the sign in place at Cluck and Collect.”

Jane Young, Chief Executive Officer at Activate CES said: “It’s important for all learners, whatever their individual needs to have high aspirations for their life beyond education.  Here at Activate, experiencing the world of work develops their awareness and motivation to progress into voluntary and paid employment.”