Route to Recruit

Last updated: 06/12/2021

Our Vision

“Preparing young adults to have sustainable and progressive careers in the local labour market and to become active citizens in an ever-changing world”

Brookfields School has several years’ experience delivering successful Supported Internships for young people with learning difficulties and additional needs as they transition from education into the world of work. Over the last 9 years, Brookfields School have supported 58 young people into the world of work by working collaboratively with businesses, young people and their families.

As part of Brookfields School’s commitment to supporting young people into employment, our Route to Recruit supported internship programme is an integral part of our award winning ‘Pathway to Employment’

Route to Recruit is a supported internship programme that helps young people with a learning difficulty secure and keep full time, paid permanent jobs.

Transformational Partnerships

Route to Recruit is a collaboration between Brookfields School and Reading College as the education providers, and Royal Berkshire Hospital Foundation Trust as business lead, Ways into Work as Supported Employment provider and Talentino!, a niche career development organisation.

This partnership brings together the expertise of employers, education providers and a supported employment provider, along with other key stakeholders from the local community.

What is Route to Recruit?

Route to Recruit is an employment-focussed education programme, designed to give students with learning difficulties and additional needs the opportunity to develop which will support their transition into the world of work. The programme is unique in  that we work in partnership with host employers from a business led approach focusing on developing a skilled work force for them.

We address businesses needs through an asset-based approach, developing students to have competitive skills, knowledge and attributes that are relevant to the local labour market. We look to champion ambition and understand that a supported internship is just the start of a young adult’s career in the workplace and that career development and progression is something for everyone to aspire.

Alongside our focus on employment, Route to Recruit recognises that the acquisition and successful application of daily living and social skills are equally important, which is why we offer a comprehensive programme to develop these key elements of autonomous citizenship.

Research and our experience of running successful Supported Internships shows that through the total emersion in the work place, the students on the programme develop effective work based skills, attitudes and knowledge. It is available to students from Brookfields School and Reading College who have expressed a commitment to enter the world of work in the last year of education.

How does Route to Recruit work?

Route to Recruit is designed to give students the opportunity to learn more about the world of work, develop employability skills and to apply skills in a real life work placement. One of the aims is to develop the students to help them make the most of future work opportunities, either with their host employer or in the open job market.

The supported internship will allow a significant amount of time to be dedicated to the acquisition of work based skills through carefully selected work placements. Placements will be tailored to a student’s strengths and interests as identified through a process of vocational profiling and will provide opportunity to strengthen identified areas for development. These placements will work towards the expectation of the young adult becoming able to complete tasks to the same standard as the business’s own employees and where appropriate conforming to the same working practices and working hours as the placement business.

Caring for a home environment is an important life skill regardless of whether this is in the family home, independent living or a shared or supported living environment. Our programme of home management will be delivered at our bespoke Life Skills Centre and will give the students a chance to practice and consolidate domestic tasks including cleaning, cooking and shopping in an authentic setting.

Appropriate social skills are an important part of sustaining employment but also for becoming active in the wider community. Sessions will be taught as stand-alone sessions as well as through cross-curricular activities such as social event planning. Students will be involved in planning activities such as going to the cinema with friends, or preparing a meal for others.

Students will have many opportunities through their work placements and through life skills activities to develop their communication skills. Using a coaching approach we will support student’s ability to self-advocate.

We recognise that achieving the aspirations of employment and managing an active social life will not be possible without being able to get from A to B, which is why our Job Coaches will be able to provide advice and support on travel training as appropriate to meet the student’s individual needs.

Financial literacy will be worked on in specific enterprise challenges and through stand-alone lessons, building on the students’ numeracy skills and promoting the generalisation of these to every day functional uses such as budgeting, savings and pensions. These sessions will be taught commensurate to the individual student’s learning level.

Increasingly businesses are moving towards e-learning platforms to provide their mandatory training. Over the course of the year, the students will have opportunities to practice completing e-learning modules in areas such as manual handling, health and safety and fire awareness. A Tutor or Job Coach will be available to support students comprehension where required.

For students to stand out from a field of applicants and to enhance their employment prospects, a personalised skills portfolio will be encouraged to be developed. Personalised programmes may include certification in area such as First Aid or Food Hygiene.

Resilience to the pressures of work and life are developed through job coaching and through a programme of positive psychology delivered by external providers. These sessions are aimed at dealing with anxiety and other potential challenges to good mental health, through getting students to understand their strengths and reflect on their positive experiences rather than dwelling on negative thoughts.

Family involvement is key to the success of the young people gaining paid employment at the end of the programme. We offer very comprehensive and detailed Family Information through formal meetings as well as meetings focusing on the young person’s progress through the programme and planning for employment.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Maurice George
Contact Position
Acting Deputy Head Teacher
0118 942 1382

Where to go

The Royal Berkshire Hospital
London Road

The service is delivered at The Royal Berkshire Hospital and may be delivered at other businesses in Reading

Time / Date Details

When is it on
9.00am to 4.00pm
Time of day

Inclusion Information

Dietary Needs

Has Provision

Local Offer


Route to Recruit is a one year transition programme which provides training and education leading to employment for individuals with disabilities. The programme runs term time only.

Route to Recruit is a collaborative model between Brookfields School and Reading College as the education providers, Ways into Work, Talentino! and Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust as the host employer. This multi-agency partnership brings together the expertise of the host employer, the education providers and a supported employment provider, along with other stakeholders from the local community.

Route to Recruit is an employment-focussed education programme, designed to give students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities the opportunity to develop employability skills and to get hands on experience in the workplace combined with classroom sessions.

The cornerstone of Route to Recruit is total immersion in a large business. Each day, students report to the host business, learn employability skills in the classroom and job skills while participating in bespoke 3 – 4 internships during the year. Students also participate in progress meetings to define their career goal and plan necessary steps to achieve that goal.

Managers in the business work with the Route to Recruit delivery team to support the students. Students get continual feedback from managers, co-workers and Route to Recruit staff. Students end their day by reflection, problem solving, planning and journaling their key learning. The ultimate goal upon programme completion is competitive employment utilising the skills learned on the internships and throughout the programme.

SEN Provision Type
Medical, Specific Literacy Difficulties, Speech & Language Difficulties, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Physical Disability, Hearing Impairment, Moderate Learning Difficulties, Severe Learning Difficulties, Visual Impairment
Local Offer Age Bands
19 plus
Needs Level

General Provider

Is your service accessible? (consider in general terms how you make your service accessible, in addition to any specific premises issues)


What are the eligibility criteria for your service? (please include any age restrictions, types of need catered for etc)
  • Students applying for a place must have a desire to work and have the support of their family
  • Students applying for the place on the programme must be at least 18 years of age and under 26 on 1st September.
  • When they start the programme, they will be in their last year of education
  • Have received additional support at school/college because of a learning disability (difficulty)
  • Meet UK residency requirements (have been living in the UK or European Union for the last 3 years)
  • Maintain appropriate behaviour and social skills in the workplace
  • Take direction from supervisors and modify performance
  • Be able to communicate effectively
  • EITHER use public transport independently on familiar routes, and participate in travel training to learn new routes if needed OR be able to get to and from the host employer either independently or though family support
  • The young person’s family be committed and supportive of the programme
  • Ability to pass DSB check, and willing to have immunisations if necessary
  • Willing to participate in the selection procedures and process
  • Able to produce identification documentation e.g. passport, NI Number etc
  • Desire and plan to work competitively in the community at the conclusion of Project Search programme
How are referrals/applications made to your service? (include details of who can refer/apply and referral and application process)

If you are interested in learning more about Route to Recruit please contact Brookfields School for more details. Students on the programme must be enrolled at either Brookfields School or Reading College. For young people from other educational establishments, please contact Maurice George (Assistant Head, Brookfields School). Interested students and their families will be invited to an Information Evening at RBH to learn more about their programme. If a student is interested in pursuing a place, they will need to complete an application form. In addition, the student’s teacher will also need to complete an application form. If short listed, students are invited to attend an Assessment Centre at RBH where they will have an interview and also participate in group activities to assess their suitability for the programme. If successful, students and their families are invited to an Open Day where they will be able to learn more about Route to Recruit in preparation for starting.

What is your service standard for responding to referrals/accessing services? (include timescales for responding to referrals and accessing services)

Referrals can be made in person to Brookfields School. Please note that to be on the programme, students must be on roll at either Brookfields School of Reading College, over 18 at the start of the programme and in their last year of education

Who provides / funds your service?
OtherLocal Authority
Are children, young people, parents / carers charged for your service?
Inspection outcomes/quality awards

Route to Recruit is audited annually to ensure that the model is successful.

Feedback and complaints procedure

Depending on where the student is enrolled, either Brookfields School or Reading College complaints procedure will be followed. If it is a complaint about the hospital, then the hospitals complaint procedures are followed.

How will I know my child will be safe using this service?

RBH Risk Assessments procedures are followed at all times. Safeguarding is important for RBH, Brookfields School and Reading College alike. All Route to Recruit delivery staff have completed Child Protection training. Any Safeguarding issues are referred to the Designated Person at the educational establishment where the young person is enrolled. The Designated Person works closely with the Project SEARCH Steering Group and also RBH to ensure that the young people on the programme are safe at all times

Quality checks

  • DBS check

West Berkshire Council do not promote or endorse any of the services listed in this Directory. For more information on this please read our disclaimer.

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