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Well, as you know I am in London today to talk about the fantastic work that we do here at New Bridge around employability which this week has highlighted more than ever. I have spent some time with Kyle, Zoheb and Terry, our Bridging the Gap students based at Manchester Metropolitan University, and it really is a joy to see how well the project is going there this year. I mentioned some time ago about MMU committing themselves to ring fencing some apprentice roles for our young people and this is getting closer and closer for us. I met with Kyle’s manager, the Communications and Network manager for MMU, who really couldn’t speak highly enough about Kyle. He informs me that Kyle is ‘flying in the department’ and is even teaching some of the graduates how to do tasks! Rob said, “Kyle is on placement with us until mid July but we are hoping that this could lead to future opportunities within the team. This is our first experience of the BtG project and we are happy to welcome new students in the future.” Kyle is clearly in his element and is really flourishing in an environment that he has been so keen to work within for a number of years. For this, Kyle, I am thrilled to award you this week’s certificate for ‘Worker of the Week’, I really hope that you get a paid job and I wish you the best of luck..

To continue, here is a report from Charlotte, our job coach on the ground at MMU..

Kyle is working within the networks and communications team, working alongside the team to ensure the day to day running of the computer systems across the university. He ‘loves’ his placement and knows that this is ‘something that he wants to do in the future.’  Here you can see him logging me on the system to allow entry to the old student union..

..and doing his daily checks of the equipment, looking for faults and making sure all the doors are locked..

Zoheb has stayed with the facilities team in Benzie this term and is really starting to come out of his shell! He works with the porters doing general maintenance and tasks such as moving furniture, clearing rooms, recycling and delivering packages. I caught him in action checking the disabled toilets and making sure everything is secure and in working order..

..and helping to clear the Art studios ready to exhibit the students’ final Art work in a few weeks..

Terry is back in All Saints library and is getting stuck in learning his new tasks, sorting borrowed books back onto the correct bays ready to be re-shelved..

..checking new books against invoices..

..shelf checks to see if he can find certain books on the shelves..

..and entering data into a spread sheet to show how non MMU students/staff visiting the library impacts on the use of study spaces..

Terry say he’s ‘happy to be back in the library, there’s a lot of books and it’s surprisingly good exercise!’ Overall it’s been a busy week at the university with filming for the graduation ceremony, visits from new BtG students and Daniel and starting to write our speeches for the graduation ceremony on top of our normal work!

Over at the Royal Oldham Hospital, our other Bridging the Gap site, the young people have been equally busy as Alison reports..

Niamh had the opportunity to work in the kitchen for a few weeks where she quickly learnt her new jobs and was able to show off her ability to organise herself and competently complete her work..

Liam has impressed the staff around the hospital, independently cleaning the wheelchairs..

Abu is working part time for health records and he is enjoying delivering patient records around the hospital..

Abu is also working for three days in the laundry where his favourite job is putting the uniforms through the dryer..

Daniel loved the cleaning services so much he has decided to stay with them..

Humayun’s morning placement is in the shop. He gets so involved in his filling up he forgets to come back to class..

Humayun also works in the Pre–op Assessment Ward where he is sensible and mature and able to work independently in his own office!

At Horizons this week, Emma’s group have enjoyed a fantastic trip into Manchester to visit the Science and Industry Museum..

Shelly’s group have also been out and about, visiting Manchester, local parks and Oldham town centre..

Jeff’s group are the third group to venture into Manchester this week and they really enjoyed travelling on the tram..

They stopped off at to look at some trainers (maybe the new Air Jordans would help on their jump shots?) and then checked out the inside of the newly refurbished Corn Exchange which they decided was an absolutely beautiful building..

They then headed to the Football Museum but made sure to stop for a little warm up before going in..

They checked out the 2 cups and looked at the jerseys – Will wanted to put his Oldham jersey in the empty spot, go Oldham Athletics, go! They still have the two top floors of the museum left to explore so they are already busy planning their next trip!

Sounds like a busy day, Jeff! The group have also enjoyed their weekly visits to Oldham Leisure Centre for swimming and to Ability Wheelz where they were lucky that the rain stopped just as they set off. Thanks to the weather they had the whole park to themselves except for two workers fixing the bowling greens..

Hayley’s group have had a great time over the last 2 weeks, they have been out in the community to Ability Wheels and for a few little strolls to the shops and café nearby..

The young people have enjoyed the nice weather, preparing our outdoor space and making it brighter and more attractive and painting the plant pots..

They have also been baking..

..being creative with music and getting messy..

..but most of all they really enjoy spending their days socialising with their friends..

They also made sure that Jean had a lovely birthday and gave her a special card!

Our Digit4ll Pathway have been hard at work at Medtia this week as Mr Bright explains..

Two areas we don’t often report on from the IT pathway are our technical topics. This week Mr Thompson (Music Tech) and Mr Southerington (Technical IT) are giving an insight in to what they are teaching in their lessons..

The students in Digit4ll have been busy working on their OCR iMedia qualification over the year. They are completing a Sound Effects Module which involves researching all about Foley artists and how sound effects are created in the world of media. This term they have been planning sound effects by using various props and objects and recording them on the Apple Mac computers using an audio interface system and a programme named Garage Band to edit and enhance the sounds. The project is a lot of fun and the students get the chance to get ‘hands on’ with exploring the creation of the planned sounds and use various techniques to get a range of sounds suitable for their project..

The pictures below are examples of the students working with fruits and meat to create sound effects for a horror film trailer. They really enjoyed squishing fruit and punching meat to create realistic sounds for the film..

The pupils are using the recording studio to edit and enhance the sounds to their required standard..

Next time you watch a film check out the Foley artist on the credits and you never know, one day it may be a member of the Digit4ll team!

In their Technical IT lessons the students have been looking at what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ when using a computer – most notably, what hardware is used to access a network. They already have the knowledge of the various components of the computer and put this to good use when answering questions. After a session on computer theory, we took a mini adventure to Medtia’s server room to see what equipment was needed to access their computer work, print a document or watch their favourite YouTube videos..

The students were fascinated and also taken aback with the whiting noises, rows of blinking LEDs and (what seemed to be) miles and miles of network cabling. I don’t think they fully expected the magnitude of what goes into computer networks!! I was impressed by the students’ questioning and understanding of what is quite a challenging topic.

So, another busy week! I look forward to giving you an update on our Future Finders students and also on how our conference went in London in next week’s blog. As you may know, John has now confirmed the Horizons residential to Blackpool in July and more information is being sent home for families. Finally, a little reminder that it is Parents’ Evening for our Pathway students here at Medtia on Tuesday evening, I look forward to seeing some of you then.

Have a fantastic weekend,

Director of Employment & Co Head of Site at Medtia Square

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