STUDENTS with learning disabilities in Sandiway have been scouting out the jobs market for when they graduate.

National Careers Week, March 4 to 9, saw learners at Petty Pool College attend the first ever careers fair held on campus.

One of the UK's top five education employers, Petty Pool offers vocational training and education for young people with learning disabilities, and forges links with employers to secure meaningful futures for their 121 students.  

The careers fair marked the end of a week of activities centred around work, including training, careers talks, and workshops given by local organisations including Cheshire FA and the Samaritans.

Northwich Guardian: Learners at Petty Pool College in Sandiway enjoying the careers fairLearners at Petty Pool College in Sandiway enjoying the careers fair (Image: Petty Pool College)

Local employers including The Hollies Farm Shop, Bidlea Farm, BEPO, Higher Farm, Blakemere Village, and The Design Shed all attended, and students learned about the roles on offer and the skills needed to undertake them.

Some visited employers such as Liverpool John Lennon airport, and took part in CV building masterclasses.

Petty Pool careers lead, Katie McGlynn, said: “It’s been an incredibly productive week with learners focusing on their future career aspirations and putting the wheels in motion to achieve them.

“Our learners have a range of skills and capabilities to offer employers and many of them are keen to secure paid employment.

“We’d like to thank all the employers and organisations who came along to the careers fair and who continue to work with our young people.”

A lack of opportunity currently exists for young adults with learning disabilities, with less than five percent in employment, according to local authority data.

Petty Pool offers courses in horticulture and grounds maintenance, hospitality and catering, animals and environments, business, retail and customer service as well as independent life skills.

College principal and deputy CEO, Wendy Bowyer, said: “The national statistics for young people with learning disabilities in paid employment are shocking.

“As a college, we’re proactive about changing them.

“Learners at Petty Pool have so much to offer employers, and events such as the careers fair are incredibly important to promote neurodiversity in the workplace.

“We urge local businesses to contact us to discuss working together in the future to offer internships to our talented and motivated learners.”

Businesses and organisations are being invited to attend a conference organised by Petty Pool about how to incorporate diversity and inclusion in the workplace, with guest speakers, at Carden Park Hotel on Friday, June 14. 

For more information and to book a place please contact