The Autism Project (TAP) is a full time 2 year employment programme for young people on the autism spectrum, who would like work but need more confidence, support, skills and experience. We use a module based learning system so students can start at the beginning of any term and can progress at a pace that best meets their individual needs.
All students follow our supported internship curriculum for their first term and typically students will spend 3 terms (their first year) following this: they will learn within real work experience placements within either Guy’s or St. Thomas’ hospitals four days a week, supported by work-place mentors and specialist job coaches and attend class once a week, where they learn valuable employability and independent living skills and work towards City & Guilds qualifications. The objective is for young people to become ‘work-ready’ and to have gained a reference from their workplace.
Students’ progress to the Year two curriculum once ‘work-ready’, typically in term 4, where the focus is on greater independence in the workplace (with a wider range of employers). Students are supported to develop their interview and communication skills and to actively seek and hopefully gain paid employment, a paid apprenticeship or further vocational training of choice. In year two students access weekly 1:1 job search sessions.
TAP staff use person centred planning and our aim is to help all students reach their individual goals as defined in their Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP). Throughout the course there is a high level of 1:1 support. From September 2017 all our students will have access to our new counselling service.
In addition The Autism Project supports young people to improve their independent living skills, become involved in their community and take steps to stay healthy through enrichment activities and social groups that run across all CareTrade services. This includes travel training.
This service will be provided initially by 4 days a week work placement within Guys and St Thomas hospital, supported by trained mentors and managers with regular visits from CareTrade mentor and job coach, combined with class based learning once a week. Employability and Function Skills are taught.
Students will then progress onto placements in different organisations for 2 days a week, whilst being supported to achieve any relevant qualifications or training for their desired career, plus support with CV writing, job searches and applications and mock interview practice.