Future employment in focus


ASDAN’s Focus resources were launched last year to provide an accessible curriculum for learners aged 16+ with additional needs. It is ideal for organisations that work with small groups of students, helping them to complete activities and gather evidence of their achievements.

Gateway North East has started using Focus as part of its work scheme, which supports young people as they take small steps towards employment.

Joanne Fearne, the organisation’s chief executive, said: “It is based around holiday schemes, being participants and having fun. But instead of us taking the young people bowling they do the planning in the morning, either individually or as a group, depending on the young person. Then they use the bus to get there rather than the minibus. It all has to be very individualised though.

“If they can see it will help them in the future to help others and be leaders, that’s even better. That’s why we give the kids a green Focus T-shirt, which is a massive motivator to join the scheme.

“Focus is becoming very popular with our young people and parents. The skills that are learned are ones that parents are really keen for the young people to do. We hope to roll this out to other holiday schemes in the future. The key to it is its flexibility.

“It is ideal if you want a starting point for a small group or individuals and build up a portfolio and photos.”