Queen Alexandra College has partnered with National Express to help young people with learning difficulties gain practical experience in the workplace.
Students working towards a BTEC in computer studies at the Harborne based college have undertaken placements at National Express' head office in Birmingham Coach Station. The pupils - aged between 16 and 19 - help IT staff handle queries and solve technical issues at National Express' bus, coach and train stations across the UK.
National Express employee Andy Denton helped create the partnership and is mentoring the pupils: "Two students joined us for a week last year and we were so impressed by the standard of their work we were keen to support the college further."
"We now have students with us one day per week and it's really rewarding to watch their skills and confidence develop. I hope it will encourage other major employers in the city to open their doors to work placements too. It's been great for our team to work with students who are so positive and enthusiastic."
The UK's largest coach operator has also donated £1000 to the College to help fund crucial learning tools for the IT course.
Bev Jessop, Vice Principal of Queen Alexandra College said: "Work placements are of immense value to all of our learners at QAC. Not only do they offer real working experience of jobs, but are also important reminders of the responsibilities that go along with working such as travelling, time management and personal organisation skills."
"At QAC we proactively focus on employment skills for learners and send our grateful thanks to employers who provide our learners with such excellent opportunities to experience work"
Queen Alexandra College is a leading independent specialist further education college for pupils who are blind, partially sighted, visually impaired or have Aspergers. For more information visit: www.qac.ac.uk/