City of Wolverhampton Council has teamed up with Tettenhall Wood School to launch a new project to encourage and support employability skills for people with learning disabilities.

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Pupils have established their own coffee shop called 'The Tree Room', and were also very involved in developing and designing the logo.  

The project will provide real life work experience to help shape the futures of young people who have the desire and drive to work.

The cafe currently serves members of staff, who can order either filtered or instant coffee to take away - but in September the Tree Room will be open for business to local companies and groups who can hire it out for free.

Councillor Claire Darke, Cabinet Member for Education, this week joined other guests to officially open The Tree Room.

She said: "It was great to go along and support the school as they have supported the 'Employment is Everyone's Business' project over the last 12 months.

"The Tree Room will help pupils into paid work after school and give them the skills and experience to succeed in the Wolverhampton workplace."

Laura Bennett, the school's Secondary Phase Leader, added: "We have been working with the City of Wolverhampton Council to engage with employers and find out what employers want.

"The Tree Room was set up to provide meaningful work experience in the school context, where pupils can learn life skills, practice customer service, use their English and Maths skills and generally improve their confidence. There will be a booking system so they will have to organise that as well.

"The teachers are using it as an alternative staffroom and they've been very impressed by the service. By inviting companies to come in, we are hoping to build up our links with local businesses.

"It will give the pupils transferable skills for when they leave school, will provide links to the local community and enable them to make a positive contribution to society."

Eight post 16 pupils at the Regis Road school have been trained by Shropshire Coffee in Bushbury in barista skills while the rest of the school will eventually help supply the cakes.

  • released: Friday 22 July, 2016