Small Steps to Employment

We've integrated our Small Steps to Employment values into all of our schemes and groups - it's all about encouraging young people how to work in meaningful paid employment, through their day-to-day activities. There are all sorts of levels that our participants can engage with around SStE - whether it's short courses, tasks they can take part in throughout their day-to-day activities at Gateway, or work experience and further education schemes, there's something for everyone! Check out more below:

Maroon Tops

Anyone can access Small Steps to Employment at this level, stitched through all of our schemes and encouraging young people to learn what it means to work in meaningful paid employment. From the age of thirteen, young people can access this scheme for two hours per week and for additional time in the school holidays, working up to full time as they progress. 

There are a variety of jobs that the young people might start with, supported by our team of staff and volunteers: tidying coats, filling water bottles, supporting or buddying up with other young people, giving out packed lunches, running games and crafts, tidying up, gardening and running the tuck shop, for instance. 

These young people are identified using maroon tops, indicating that they are not yet DBS checked - this is the first stage of our SStE scheme. Before they progress, we want to make sure that everyone receives the right training, and is confident in doing the jobs that are right for them. Our expectation is that these building blocks will enable them to go on to work elsewhere, and to thrive doing it. 

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Progression

Once a young person reaches the age of sixteen, they complete a DBS check with us, and they become a red top: this indicates that they are DBS checked but not yet fully trained. 

We interview our young people between each stage, and they fill in application forms throughout the process - this helps them to develop skills around appliation writing and interview techniques, building confidence for a future in training and work. We have a continuous plan, do, review culture. 

Young people become blue tops when they are fully trained and have passed our assessment process - this is a real achievement and we celebrate with our young people. 

Blue tops are paid minimum wage plus 50p/hour, which comes from grant funding - the training can be accessed by anyone on our schemes from the age of 13. The small income that they have earned enables us to work with our young people to build skills around money and budgeting, and to help them plan their own trips and activities.

What do we Teach?

We've built a fantastic range of learning opportunities:

  • Teen First Aid, taught by Hadrian Training; Rob and Sarah Chambers are both DBS checked and very experienced in SEN. We believe that all young people should know first aid. 

  • Asdan Employability Qualification, and Asdan CoPe Qualification: these are portfolio based, and covers a wide range of skills around employment to level 3.

  • SLUK Energy Club Leader: This is a course that teaches young people how to run a programme for an hour. The programmes are simple to follow and high energy, and the training covers safeguarding, health and safety and communication. It's a great starter course for those learning how to work with children. 

  • BSC Health and Safety at Work (Entry Level and Level 1): This is a very visual and portfolio-based course, run over six sessions. It's very adaptive and interactive and is tailored specifically for the group, taught with help from Hadrian Training.

  • Fire Evacuation Training: This is completed by all young people aged 11+. We have put this training together to ensure that every young person is able to help evacuate everyone from the building, and demonstrate what needs to be done in the case of a fire; this also includes minibus evacuation. 

  • Safe Outside Supervision of Children and Crossing the Road: This is interactive training based on the Green Cross Code. For instance, we teach that children always wear high-vis tabards; that children always walk furthest away from the road; to look at visual instructions; to feel the visually impaired buzzer under the box to be sure it is safe to cross; and how to do a risk assessment.

  • Food Hygiene: Available for young people aged 13 and over, this teaches how to keep and prepare food in a safe environment. 

  • Moving and Handling: a two hour course that helps young people learn how to keep themselves safe while moving and handling, in an interactive way. 

  • Personal Care: two hours of training that covers safeguarding and personal care - how to change pads and nappies hygienically; how to support someone to eat, and other aspects of personal care.

  • Safeguarding: This needs to be done more sensitively with under 18s, and so this training is completed in small groups using appropriate training material. We do everything we can to make this appropriate and accessible for our young people: we watch DVDs, have discussions, and use drama and puppets to learn about safeguarding - and this training gives us a great opportunity to talk to the young people about safeguarding issues that they might be particularly vulnerable to.

  • Film Ratings: a two hour session looking at what ratings around films mean, and how to make good choices in what we watch. 

  • Internet Safety: a two hour course around various aspects of internet safety - we update this regularly to keep the information relevant. 

  • 4 visits to Safety Works: Completed as part of Stepping Out, these days are very interactive and look at various aspects of keeping safe. 

  • Gateway Award: We designed this course as an accessible version of the DofE award - all young people have access to the Gateway Award. 

  • Disability Awareness: a straightforward, visual online course from the City of York Local Authority.

  • Dealing with Disability Hate Crime and Discrimination: This is completed by all young people aged 11+, and parents separately - it's a chance for participants to practice reporting a hate crime, as well as look at what discrimination is and what we can do about it. 

  • Basic Makaton: a chance for young people to learn thirty basic signs, to help with their communication and understanding. We have a trainer come from the Makaton Foundation to lead this training. 

  • Mental Health and Anger Management: This teaches participants valuable skills around how to deal with anger and frustration. 

  • Hand Hygiene - an essential skill for our young people.

  • Water Safety: We do a lot of water sport at Gateway, so it is vital that all of our young people are aware of water safety. 

  • Peer mentoringThis is mainly portfolio based, with a yearly review to help reinforce the learning. 

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Disability Services for children, young people and families.