A group of Telford College students are gaining valuable work experience in the retail trade by setting up and running a weekly stall at Wellington Market.
It is part of an initiative to prepare learners at the college’s Willow Tree Centre for the world of employment by boosting their confidence and communication skills.
The centre, based at the Haybridge campus, specialises in teaching students aged 16-19 with severe learning difficulties and complex medical needs.
Natasha Careless, transition and work experience co-ordinator, said: “It’s essential to ensure that our students are given appropriate opportunities to reach their full potential.
“However, due to their complex needs, work experience with external companies isn’t always appropriate.
“We were eager to find a solution that allowed students to gain experience of a working environment and develop their communication skills in the community, with the security of familiar staff supporting them.
“Having our own market stall allows them to play an active part in the way their work experience takes shape, which in turn helps develop their independence skills.”
The weekly stall, every Thursday, has been donated to the Willow Tree Centre free of charge by the Wellington Market Company.
Many of students have secured work experience with with local businesses, including Telford Steam Railway, the League of Friends café at the Princess Royal Hospital, the Whitehouse Hotel in Wellington, and Lakeside Garden Centre at