New partnership will give students with disabilities the opportunity to learn life and work skills within the community
A new partnership between Chester House Estate and the Creating Tomorrow Multi Academy Trust will create opportunities for children and young people with disabilities to get hands-on life and work experience.
The Trust is to have a base in the Education Centre on the Chester House Estate in Irchester where students from The Creating Tomorrow Trust will have a classroom. The college helps young people up to the age of 25 with disabilities to get experience in the workplace through a series of pathways that include work experience, learning, internships and apprenticeships.
Students from the Creating Tomorrow Trust will run the Chester House Estate farm shop, as well as get experience in catering, events and programming, weddings and conferencing, finance, marketing and PR, KS1/2 education programmes, museum curation, gardening, bed and breakfast accommodation, community outreach, archiving, archaeology, site operations and business development.
Business Manager at Chester House Estate, Jack Pishhorn, said: “This partnership is a step towards closing the disability employment gap. In December 2020, the number of disabled people in employment was 52.3 per cent, compared to 81.1 per cent of people who are not disabled.
“We’ll be able to give students at Creating Tomorrow a stepping stone onto the employment ladder, which will not only benefit them and us, but the wider community.”
CEO of the Creating Tomorrow Trust, Kevin Latham, says they are really excited to be in place this summer. He said: “The impact of this partnership will be felt across the whole Trust.
“The opportunity to work with the Chester House Estate and their other partners, such as the University of Leicester, Moulton College and Nenescape will give our students the opportunities they need for the best outcome possible.”
The Trust’s pathways are designed to help students to learn not only the skills they need for the workplace, but the life skills to go out into the community.
Jack added: “We are really excited to be partnering with the Creating Tomorrow Trust as part of our ongoing community outreach on this project. The farm shop is something we’ve been really excited to bring to the site, supporting local producers and teaming up with Made in Northamptonshire to make that happen.
“The fact that the shop will be run by students from the Trust, giving them the skills to go on to work within the community is the icing on the cake.
“We will also give their students work experience and internship opportunities in other areas of the site, depending on what they want to do when they leave school.”
Cllr Lizzy Bowen (Nene Valley) West Northamptonshire Council Cabinet Lead for The Chester House Estate said: “I am absolutely delighted to see such a major development in a crucial area of Chester House’s education offering. As a unitary authority we need to ensure we do everything we can to support.”
As part of the partnership, the Creating Tomorrow has invested in a minibus that will transport the students between campuses.
Kevin added: “Latest statistics indicate that only 4.8 per cent of adults with a learning need are in meaningful employment, while close to 80 per cent would like to be. This statistic is both alarming and saddening.
“We wholeheartedly believe that our students and young adults are more than capable of not only gaining and maintaining employment but also being an incredible asset to any employer. We recognise that to achieve this we need to not only upskill our students and young adults but also support employers to become disability confident, so they are able to reap the rewards of an untapped workforce.”