Local businesses are being asked to play their part by offering just a couple of hours a week to help change a young person’s future.

An award-winning specialist college for young adults with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is asking the local business community to help provide valuable work experience for its students.

Derwen College, which has campuses near Oswestry, Shrewsbury, Ludlow and Telford is asking employers to consider providing weekly work placements to help students in their training.

The college is keen to work with charity shops, designers and printers, theatres, garden nurseries, cafes, restaurants and housekeeping businesses in Shropshire, preferably in or near Oswestry or Telford.

The work experience team are also looking for some specific placements local to Shrewsbury, for students at the college’s Walford-based site. They are particularly keen to hear from Shrewsbury-based florists, gyms, leisure centres and horticulture enterprises.

Just a few hours a week in a work environment provides vital experience for students, which helps them towards employment and a more independent future. Students are supported at all times during their placements by a Derwen College job coach and can be a real asset to a business.

Work experience co-ordinator Abi Baker said:

‘Only 6% of young people with learning difficulties go into work, which is an incredibly disappointing statistic. Derwen College’s mission is to create opportunities for young people who may have special educational needs, but have proved they are able and willing to work. This enables them to enjoy job satisfaction and also to live more independent lives.


“Our external work placement programme offers life changing opportunities for our students to undertake meaningful, real work experience which is relevant to their learning and future career hopes.

“Businesses that we work with also find it a rewarding thing to do. Offering work placements to a person with a learning difficulty promotes diversity and boosts a company’s reputation for being community-minded and inclusive.”

To find out more about how you could help change a young person’s future prospects, please contact Abi Baker on abi.baker@derwen.ac.uk