Signposting - Moving to adult life - Wiltshire Council’s Employment and Community Skills (ECS) team - How it works.


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Section: Signposting

Subsection: Signposting - Moving to adult life

Wiltshire Council’s Employment and Community Skills (ECS) team - How it works.

One of the most essential elements of any young person’s daily life is to find and sustain meaningful and purposeful things to do. For young people with SEND (Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities) there is an opportunity to explore options through Wiltshire Council’s Employment and Community Skills (ECS) team. The team consists of the Wiltshire Employment Support Team (WEST) and Community Connecting.

If a young person with SEND is aged 14 to 25, is resident in Wiltshire and not currently being supported by any other Wiltshire Council supported employment service or Jobcentre Plus work programme provider, they may be eligible for support from ECS. Referrals to the ECS team should specify the service being referred to, as either WEST or Community Connecting. Referrals can be made by a SEND Lead Worker, Wiltshire College, a social worker, a specialist school, the Integrated Youth Service or via the Council’s social care advice and information helpline (telephone number 0300 456 0111). Initial enquiries for information can be made to this number 01225 718004 and also by email to:

Once referred, a young person will be allocated to either a WEST Job Coach and if referred to Community Connecting, a Community Co-ordinator. The worker will arrange to meet the young person and will register them for the service. The worker will then spend time profiling the young person and ask them about any previous experience, and consider what skills the young person already has and which ones they may need to develop.

For WEST; the job coach will assist with job searching, application forms, preparing for interview, support in the interview. Should the young person be successful in finding paid employment they will receive job coaching support (if needed) until they are confident in their new role. Job Coaching is time limited, generally lasting no longer than 6 weeks. The Job Coach will continue to support the young person and monitor progress by reviewing regularly. When the young person is confident in all aspects of their role and has reached stability, they will be closed with WEST. This is usually following a period of employment lasting up to 18 months but is very much dependant on the young person’s wishes.
To find out more, see the WEST video on YouTube and contact the WEST administration office on 01225 718004.

For Community Connecting; the Community Co-ordinator will support the young person with searching and supporting into voluntary work. If a young person is not ready to be supported into paid employment by undertaking a voluntary work they can build on developing and maintaining work related skills, which could one day lead to paid employment. Community Connecting also support young people to make new friendships (or rekindle previous friendships), joining a club or using community facilities to do things they enjoy. The aim of the Community Connecting team is to provide a time-limited service to enable a young person to find and access an activity in their local community which they can then continue to do independently.

Both teams support travel training and is linked to the young person’s outcome so for example; if a young person finds paid employment the Job Coach will provide training from the young person’s home to the workplace. If someone finds voluntary work, an activity or friendship the Community Co-ordinator will support travel training in exactly the same way.

For young people who are still attending Wiltshire College, WEST and Community Connecting offer a 12 week programme designed to prepare them for paid employment and an overview of what is available in their local communities. Topics covered in these sessions include “what is work”, “attitudes and expectations”, “appropriate behaviour” and “transferable skills” among others.

Click here to see the factsheet for the service.

Community Connecting - short films
Through the Get Connected project in schools, Community Connecting have a short film called ‘Safe Crossings’ featuring some young people supported through that route, around [road safety and awareness].
Get Connected have their own newsletter, click here to take a look.

Here are some links to short films that illustrate the kind of support offered through the Employment and Community Skills team (WEST and Community Connecting)

[Wiltshire Employment Support Team - YouTube]
[Wiltshire Supported Internships - YouTube]
[Community Connecting - YouTube]
[Travel Training - YouTube]

You can also find them on Facebook, where you can find regular information and hear from some of the people they support;
[(1) Employment and Community Skills | Facebook]