The Wokingham Paper

These Wokingham students are ace

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STUDENTS on a course run by a Wokingham company have celebrated their graduation at Reading College.

They completed the Ace@Optalis course which supports students with learning disabilities through their transition from college into the work environment.

Thirteen students from Reading College’s learning disability department attended the course, with 90% of them now in paid employment.

Ace@Optalis is run by Wokingham-based social care provider Optalis through its Supported Employment Service.

It includes group sessions, specialist 1-1 job coaching, preparing for the workplace, travel training, work experience and paid work.

Donna Morgans, Optalis Supported Employment Service Manager, said: “Supported Employment Service continues to provide a first-class service and each and every one on the team works tirelessly to enable each student to reach their employment goals and aspirations. I am extremely proud of our Class of 2019 and the dedication of my team.”

The graduation at Reading College, was attended by students, their family members and employers, as well as the Mayor of Wokingham Borough, Councillor Bill Soane.

The bespoke course was originally set up by Optalis and Reading College five years ago and continues to see success year on year with students achieving their employment aspirations – this year, 100% achieved their goals and ambitions and 90% are now in paid employment.

The supported employment team at Optalis also work with local employers to secure job opportunities for students on completion of the course. Students have previously secured roles such as a trainee website administrator, coffee shop assistant and retail assistant positions.

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