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Students on Nescot’s Supported Internship course have learnt new skills and helped the environment as part of a new upcycling project.

Margaret Hughes, an employability job coach and the department’s Horticulture lead, found two metal dividers in the college’s rubbish, and decided to save them from landfill by upcycling them.

Six students on the college’s Supported Internship programme rubbed down the metal frames and repainted them, and then learnt how to measure fabric, iron and sew using a machine.

“The students really enjoyed the project,” said Margaret. “They worked brilliantly as a team, learnt new skills and reduced waste.

“Sustainability is very important to us as a college community, so I hope we can find more upcycling projects and keep teaching the students new skills.”

One of the dividers is being used in the college’s multi-faith room, and the other is being used as a privacy screen in an office.

Colleagues from across Nescot are now on the lookout for other projects which the students could use their new skills to upcycle.

A Supported Internship is a year-long course aimed at helping young people with additional needs to develop the personal and professional skills they need to find long-term paid employment.

Nescot hosts a range of interns, with those working in the college’s on-site catering provision hailed as ‘transformative’ by the provision’s general manager.

Lots of the college’s Supported Interns have placements within the community, with two students at The Orchid Hotel described as an ‘asset to the business’.

Nescot has specially-trained job coaches, who do their best to match interns to a job that fits their skills and interests.

Students spend up to four days a week at their job, and they have one day a week at college on a personalised study programme, which includes English and maths as well as work skills.

Foundation Learning job coaches support the students throughout their programmes, visiting their placements frequently and keeping a record of their achievement as they progress.

At the end of the programme the students graduate into paid employment. If this isn’t available at their work placement then job coaches help them to find paid or voluntary work elsewhere.

Applicants must have a current Education and Health Plan, be aged at least 18, and have a strong desire to work. You can find out more here.

Nescot’s Foundation Learning department offers a wide range of courses aimed at supporting students to reach their full potential. You can find out more here.