At college you can do courses to help you learn new skills to get paid employment. You can go to college part time or full time. You may be at college a few hours a week or a few days a week.
“College gave me confidence and greater independence, it’s not like school”.
College helps you get qualifications, skills and make new friends.
Here are some examples of what you could do at college:
- sports science
- animal care
Anyone can go to college, there are courses at lots of different levels. for example, Entry 1, Level 1, Level 2 and above, including diplomas and appreenticeships.
At college you might be able to do an internship, which is like work experience. You spend time learning on the job and getting trained to do that job. You will not get paid. You may be able to claim benefits.
How I got paid full time work by Ben
I have Aspergers. I did not enjoy school because I was bullied. I went to a mainstream school and got GCSEs. When I left school I got a job working with my sister as a cleaner. This helped boost my confidence.
I decided I wanted to do more.
I went to college for 3 and a half years and did CLAiT (Computer Literacy & Information Technology), ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence), NVQ level 2 and 3 in Business and Admin, (DIDA) Diploma in Digital Applications, BTEC First Diploma in ICT practitioners, Text & Word Processing Level 2, ECDL Advanced Word and more recently a qualification in Fitness Instruction.
I taught myself how to use a computer at home. So it was a natural progression to do computer courses at college. One of my courses involved a 60 hour work experience placement at the training office at college. I learnt how to use a photocopier, a phone and other office equipment and gained confidence in my skills.
Tutors at college helped me to think what qualifications to do. They helped me think about a career in business administration.
I enjoyed my work experience so much I returned to the training office to help others and did more than my 60 hours work. I then did BTEC and NVQ level 2.
College boosted my social skills and confidence.
I did a CV and job course with Oaklea Trust. I did some work experience at a hospice in administration for one week.
I looked for admin jobs and got interviews but because I did not have any paid work on my CV. I applied for receptionist, admin and office jobs but I did not get a job.
I was committed and had a positive attitude towards work and was determined.
I went to the Jobcentre. My advisor showed me the job application a job. I filled in the application and was invited for an interview. I was employed under the Future Jobs Fund which was for 6 months. My contract was extended. Initially, I did 25 hours but then went full time and I now work 37 hours.
My mum was supportive and proud of what I had achieved.
I got Income Support and DLA. Income Support stopped but I got £40 per week for 12 months Return to Work Credit. Working Tax Credit with disabled element. Being off benefits means that I am much better off working.
I am learning how to be a body combat instructor. I would like to be a freelance instructor.
What information did you need?
I got my information about jobs from the internet, local papers, jobs paper and Jobcentre. I also used the Directgov and Jobcentre websites and did Google searches.
What helped you the most?
I was ready for work and was very determined I was actively looking for a job. My attitude helped me the most, because each morning I got up I looked for jobs and applied for any that I was qualified to do. Someone needed to take me on to see what I can do, after months of applying for jobs, getting my job broke down that barrier for me and gave me the chance to shine and show what I can do.
Colleges in Lancashire
Tel: 01539 814700
Beaumont College, Lancaster
Tel: 01524 541400
Tel: 01772 225000
Cardinal Newman College, Preston
Tel: 01772 460181
Accrington and Rossendale College
Tel: 01254 389933
Nelson and Colne College
Tel: 01282 440200
Tel: 01282 733373
Runshaw College at Leyland, Euxton and Chorley
Tel: 01772 643005
West Lancashire College, Skelmersdale
Tel: 01695 555199
Schools with a Sixth Form or Further Education