A SCHOOL for children with special needs is encouraging employers to offer work placements to its students.

Regency High School in Worcester, which caters for students with additional educational needs, recently hosted a careers fair which 50 pupils aged 13 and over attended.

Sara Harding, headteacher at Regency, said: “We have seen many benefits from our students who have completed work experience.

“It develops their confidence and enables them to ask the appropriate questions to employers, as well as giving them an idea of a future career. It also encourages students to engage with people they do not know.

"The idea is to break the barriers between people with special needs and employers.”

A campaign by Worcester City Council has been launched to encourage more businesses to become enterprise advisors for local schools, and 11 local employers have signed up so far.

Fernhill House Care Homes was at the careers fair and currently has two Regency High students on work placement.

Home manager Mike Dearn said: “We’re keen to build good links with the school – both of the students on work experience with us have the potential to be future employees with the business.”

Deputy leader of the city council, Adrian Gregson, said: “This type of event shows employers that young people of all abilities have the talent and skills to become valuable members of their future workforce.”

Tom George, careers advisor at Regency High, believes such links are essential to improve the employment prospects of students with special needs.

He said: “I would say to Worcester employers, offer a work experience placement to one of our students – then you can see for yourself the skills they can offer you.”

Worcester City Council aims to ensure that all students will meet at least one employer in every year that they are at school and participate in at least two workplace experiences during their time in education.