George’s work experience is no wash-out!

L-R Mark Blatchford, Station Road Garage, George, WESC learner and Jim, WESC Enabler
L-R Mark Blatchford – Station Garage, George – WESC learner and Jim – WESC Enabler

Charismatic, sociable, dedicated and hard-working are just a few of the words that Mark Blatchford Manager at Station Garage, Topsham, used to describe WESC Foundation learner George who has been completing his work experience with their organisation for the last three months.

George, 18, from Devon has been at WESC for three years, has an eye condition called Leber Congenital Amaurosis, a condition affecting the retina, and is a full-time day student. He studies NCFE Level 1 Music Technology, OCR Entry Level 3 Life & Living Skills, along with other mandatory courses in the Exe Stream at WESC Foundation.

George has always had a keen interest in cars. This became apparent during his OCR Life & Living Skills course when the class started to work on identifying their skills and qualities and what skills employers are looking for. There was no doubt George wanted to work with cars!

Throughout his course George showed a good understanding of what employers are looking for and did an excellent job in his mock telephone interview. The next step was for George and his Work Experience Co-ordinator Linda Stafford to find him the right placement working with his passion…cars!

George making the cars sparkle!
George making the cars sparkle!

George and Linda approached Station Garage and he was offered an interview to see if he was suitable for completing his work experience with them. George made such a good impression at his interview that they were delighted to offer him a work placement and enthused about what a positive young man he is.

At Station Garage George has responsibility for valeting the cars. When he arrives he makes sure he has the right equipment to do the job. He collects the buckets, hose, cloths, soap, wax…in fact any specialist equipment needed to make the cars sparkle George is on it. George always impresses his team by his work ethic and commitment to doing such a good job and getting the cars spotless!

Work placements are so important for the students at WESC Foundation as these placements prepare students for the world of work. They can practise their communication skills, consider other people’s points of view, learn how and where they can make their contribution in a commercial environment, plus the travelling to and from work allows the students to improve their mobility skills.

George hard at work making sure the cars are spick and span!
George hard at work making sure the cars are spic and span!

These are all skills George is learning at Station Garage along with getting used to working as part of a team which are all helping prepare him for adulthood.

Station Garage’s Manager Mark Blatchford said:  “I am particularly pleased by George’s attention to detail and am constantly impressed by his vast knowledge of vehicles.”

Simon Hindle, George’s teacher at WESC Foundation said: “George’s work placement at Station Garage is proving invaluable to George as he is learning many additional skills including working as part of a team and communication and mobility skills. Also I’ve seen a massive increase in his independence and confidence since he has started working at the garage which has made a huge impact on his quality of his life. I am very proud of George.”

Linda Stafford, WESC’s Work Experience Co-ordinator said, “George has fully embraced his work experience placement wholeheartedly. I am extremely grateful to Mark Blatchford and his team for giving him such a worthwhile productive opportunity.”

Well done George for all your hard work and commitment!

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