Employment Support

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Employment Support Overview

Supporting our learners to progress into and within work is at the heart of our offer as a College. Not only do we embed employability and personal development skills support into all of our accredited courses, we also work with agencies such as Job Centre Plus and other employment support services to provide bespoke support.

Along with our Traineeships, we also offer specific courses that are designed to prepare those out of work for job hunting. This includes developing their knowledge and skills to actively promote themselves to employers, complete outstanding applications and ace an interview!

We are working with a growing number of employers who are looking for work experience trainees with the possibility of an apprenticeship at the end of the course. Our employer engagement links could help you to find and secure your next job move.

Our offer to you:

  • Courses to develop your employment prospects and confidence; Traineeships, Step into Employment and L1 Introduction to Customer Service as well as our complete range of courses on offer.
  • Access to a range of work experience placements within Reading Borough Council and wider employers around Reading and central Berkshire
  • Facilities and use of ICT to search and apply for jobs
  • Additional learning support
  • Help with the cost of childcare while you study
  • Help with the cost of course and college related expenses
  • Help with the cost of travel to and from a work placement as part of a Traineeship


Interview Skills Programme

This is an accredited employability programme which is designed to support individuals who are currently looking for work. The programme covers different interview settings, tailoring your CV, transferable skills and all aspects of the job search process. The sessions will take place at New Directions College.


  • From 5th December 2022 at 9:30 – 13:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
  • From 19th June 2023 at 9:30 – 13:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

Course Fee: £325

Click here to apply


Traineeships (online, classroom and work placement)

Our traineeship programme is a skills development programme that includes a work placement at Reading Borough Council or with another local employer. It can last from 6 weeks to 12 weeks. The programme is designed to prepare you for an Apprenticeship or progression into work. You will learning via a blended approach of online workshops and classroom based sessions. You will work towards completing and achieving accredited qualifications and will be expected to complete course work and produce a portfolio of evidence.

Traineeships help 19 to 24 year olds – or 25 year olds with an education, health and care (EHC) plan – get ready for an apprenticeship or job if they don’t have the appropriate skills or experience.

Who can apply

You can apply for a traineeship at New Directions College if you’re:

  • eligible to work in England
  • have little or no work experience but are motivated to work
  • aged 19 to 24 – or 25 with an EHC plan – and qualified up to level 3

What a traineeship includes

Traineeships are free of charge and we may also be able to help with costs of travel and childcare. From New Directions College you will receive:

  • training to prepare you for work, including CV writing and what to expect in the workplace
  • support to improve your English, maths and digital skills if you need it
  • sector focused vocational learning to help prepare you for your apprenticeship or job and recognition of your learning
  • support from your local Jobcentre Plus if you are eligible for work benefits

From your work placement you will receive:

  • a high-quality work placement of at least 70 hours
  • an interview for an apprenticeship or job if available, or an exit interview with written feedback

Programmes will be tailored to meet your needs and prepare you for what local businesses are looking for.

A traineeship is a training programme and isn’t a job. Employers are not required to pay you for the work placement, but they can support you with expenses such as transport and meals.

If you are eligible, you can maintain your entitlement to benefits whilst on a traineeship as necessary.

Along with recognition of your learning, there will be support to link you with job opportunities.

Starting: please contact us for more information.

Course fee: FREE

Click here to apply


Work Placements

If you would like to gain work experience and skills to help you in your career or you require a work placement as part of your course/qualification, New Directions College can help.

Our Traineeship and Work Placement Officer works with local employers to source a range of work placements for our learners. This includes work placements at Reading Borough Council and other external employers. Placements typically last 8 weeks and are available in a wide range of services. They are an ideal stepping stone if you are out of work or would like to become an apprentice but want to gain some confidence and skills first.

New Directions College organises information and induction sessions for work placement opportunities throughout the year. If you would like to register your interest for the next induction session please contact us for further information or email : alessandra.mammone@reading.gov.uk.


Job Search

The College has a suite of computers that are publicly available to our learners and members of the public who are seeking employment.

  • Computers are available in blocks of two hours a day
  • Telephone, photocopying, stationery, envelopes and postage services are also available
  • Local vacancies are published and shared with our learners and service users.
  • Careers resources and course information is also available.

To book your induction speak to one of our Frontline Team. Please also visit our Job Club should you require one-to-one CV support.


National Careers Service

For information and advice on learning, training and work you can book an appointment with Adviza. Phone 0800 100 900 to book an appointment.


Online Job Search Resources

Berkshire Opportunities is a one-stop-shop digital service for benefit of the Berkshire workforce. Led by the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, students, employers, schools, colleges and residents, wanting to upskill or find a career, are able to explore all the resources they require to understand the career opportunities and pathways available in the area. This platform aims to signpost you to useful resources, careers and employability advice and important information about Berkshire’s economy.

Berkshire Opportunities is the premier gateway in the area to find out about:

  • career options
  • apprenticeships
  • local courses
  • live vacancies
  • understand more about the sectors who are still recruiting and those who are likely to recover most quickly.

Click here to access Berkshire Opportunities website


Skills Toolkit

The Government have launched the Skills Toolkit which is a set of online tools to support individuals looking for work. You can access the Skills Toolkit here.

The Skills Toolkit also offers Free courses to help you learn new skills or get a new job.

Learn about:

  • practical maths
  • computer essentials
  • personal growth and wellbeing
  • professional development
  • business and finance
  • digital design and marketing
  • computer science and coding

The National Careers Service also offers a range of online support and guidance: