Welcome to B&NES Vocational Hub
The Vocational Hub is an umbrella term for teams and enterprises who support adults with Learning Disabilities develop skills and access opportunities for work experience and training opportunities. Our teams work with adults with a Learning Disability who require low level or outreach type support to access community based activities and opportunities, through which they gain valuable work experience, learn new skills and develop their confidence and self-esteem.
More about us
By working in this low impact approach we aim to maintain individuals social mobility, maintain and promote their levels of independence and keep them within the local communities they live, preventing the need for further more intensive support, enabling them to increase control over their daily lives.
This can be achieved in a variety of ways and detailed below are some of our teams and enterprises individuals’ access to develop their skills
Community Café (Southside):
The Southside Community café opened in 2016 to provide a placement for training and work experience for this interested in catering / public facing work roles. The café is within the Southside Youth Hub and is open to the public 5 days a week, the café operates a heavily discounted menu in respect of it being a training cafe, however having access to a free soft play is a good incentive to young families to support the café.
Serving the public, it is important we meet all Food Hygiene and Safety legislation and we are registered with the food standards agency and are regularly inspected. Trainees at the café pay a fee to attend through their personal budget and in return we offer the opportunity to gain experience and skills in a variety of areas associated with the café, from preparing the food in the kitchen through to the front of house and operating the till and taking orders.
The café is outcome focused on preparing trainees on placement at the café for being able to access paid employment opportunities in the community, whilst developing their own personal skills and attributes including their confidence, welling, personal appearance and general work expectations.
RUAG is a horticulture enterprise providing training and work experience for those interested in pursuing a career within horticulture or the outdoor environment generally. RUAG has commercial contracts with some organisations across B&NES. These contracts bring in a small income. Due to the type of work most of this is carried out in the summer months so during the winter months much more focus is given to the training and education of the trainees, often including off site visits to places which will complement and increase their understanding of the work.
General work skills: Working together, Being safe at work, doing a quality job, following instructions, Working independently & working at a realistic rate.
Specifically about: Using a range of machinery, mowers, leaf blowers, hedge-cutters and brush-cutters, Plant identification from trees to wild meadows, from common names to those who wish to know scientific names, soils, compost and fertilisers, wildlife meadows, fruit care, propagation.
Visits: Gardens and Garden Centers, Horseworld, Wildlife sites, Willow farms where we make willow structures and bat boxes
This team consists of two full time coordinators who are often the first point of contact for these referred to the Vocational Hub. Normally one of the coordinators would undertake the initial meeting and undertake a vocational profile to identify what needs an individual has and how we can work with them to develop their skills.
They also assist the Operations Manager with the oversight of the Community Café at Southside and hold a case load acting as a named worker for individuals who are searching for opportunities and placements or are in a placement and they regularly meet manage and support the functioning of the placement, often this being in a voluntary role such as a charity shop.