Specialist colleges across the UK are signing up to an exciting week of national skills competitions hosted by Shropshire-based Derwen College.
The specialist FE college has launched Skills Live @Derwen, a week of virtual competitions showcasing the vocational and independence skills of students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Judging will take place from 1st to 5th March to coincide with National Careers Week.
Careers Week will finish off on Saturday, 6th March with the College’s Virtual Spring Open Day.
The college has been excited to already hear from a number of specialist and mainstream colleges from across the UK. keen to sign up for the competitions which focus on skills in Horticulture, Hospitality, Performing Arts, Retail, Work Skills, Independence, Work Skills and Functional Skills.
Creating opportunities for young people with special needs to work and live as independently as possible is at the heart of all learning at Derwen College, near Oswestry. With this in mind, the college has been part of national competitions showcasing the vocational skills of people with SEND for ten years.
Competitions will be held virtually
For 2021, the college has had to rethink the competitions around Covid-19 restrictions, and is preparing for virtual online competition. Entries will need to be submitted by 25th February to be judged by industry experts from 1st to 4th March.
The competitions are open to young people aged 16-25 years old with SEND who are currently in mainstream or specialist colleges or schools. The competitions are aimed at students working up to Entry Levels 1,2 and 3. Only two students from each organisation can participate in each competition.
Derwen College Principal Meryl Green said that the college was proud to be able to hold online Skills Live competitions for 2021.
She said: “The college has had to adapt to the times, finding innovative ways to improve opportunities for students, now more than ever. We have become used to working, teaching and learning virtually, and have already held successful virtual Open Days, graduation ceremony and teaching sessions. The virtual Skills competitions were the natural next step.
“At Derwen, we are privileged to have the facilities and industry connections to run competitions to showcase the skills demonstrated by students following vocational pathways. We are able to bring together students from a variety of schools and colleges to compete in a professional way and demonstrate their learning and employability skills.
“We are looking forward to welcoming students from schools and colleges across the UK to showcase the vocational skills they are learning in preparation for employment after college.”