Learners attend Grow 19 to gain the skills and training they need to give them a final boost into employment. As a result, work experience is a crucial part of what we do. Learners all have a weekly work experience placement, relevant to their programme of study and the accreditation they are working towards. The work experience day is longer than the normal college day – a full eight hours to prepare learners for the rigours of the workplace. Placements are long term, usually between three and six months in one setting. Where possible, learners are encouraged to travel to their placements themselves and, once settled, interact independently with their employer and colleagues so that, when they finish their course and begin working life, they are as comfortable as possible in a working environment.
We are always on the look-out for other work experience opportunities for our learners in the construction, horticulture, catering and hospitality industries. Please contact us if you are able to offer any help finding new placements.
Currently, placements we offer include:
Learners working with the Maidstone Borough Council cleansing team are based at the depot in Park Wood but travel all around the borough, clearing leaves and litter, emptying bins and generally keeping our area tidy. Shifts start at 6am, in line with the expectations of the rest of the workforce.
Parks & Gardens
The Borough Council looks after parks, gardens and play areas all across the borough; mowing the grass, maintaining sports and play facilities and planting beds and ornamental gardens. Learners work with different teams, based in different parks around the town, each specialising in specific disciplines. Learners get the chance to pick-up lots of varied skills and techniques, from pruning the roses in Vinters Park Crematorium to marking out football pitches in Mote Park.
Royal British Legion Village
Learners work with the maintenance team across the entire RBL Village to keep the gardens well looked after, ensure safety around the site and keep everything working as it should. This placement offers huge variety to the learners working there.
RBL Industries complete packing and assembly work for external clients. Learners working in this setting learn to work as part of a large team to fulfil orders and meet deadlines.
Base Camp Café
Learners in our Catering and Hospitality strand get to experience all aspects of life in a busy catering outlet when on placement at the Base Camp Café. Work ranges from making lunch and drinks for the workforce to preparing for events and catering for the public.
Marsham Street Café
A placement in the café in the YMCA centre on Marsham Street lets our learners apply the skills and knowledge they have picked up during their training and previous placements in another, different, setting. The number and variety of placements that Catering and Hospitality learners are able to access provides valuable experience, making them more attractive candidates once the time comes to make the move into paid employment.