Employment Support

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.

We 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; 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


Step Into Employment (online – day)

This 4 week online course has been designed for those who are looking for work. It will help you to achieve a skill set that will enable you to operate independently and effectively in life, learning and work. We will help and support you to overcome barriers which are preventing you from achieving what you want in life and work.

The accredited qualifications that form part of this course, offer a flexible and broad range of subjects which can be tailored to your needs, and help you to learn new skills and knowledge. They cover skills towards enabling progression and employability skills. These courses are delivered online. You will need access to a laptop and internet connection.


  • Thursday 16th September 2021
  • Monday 27th September 2021
  • Wednesday 3rd November 2021
  • Monday 15th November 2021
  • Monday 17th January 2022
  • Thursday 13th January 2022
  • Monday 14th March 2022
  • Tuesday 3rd May 2022
  • Tuesday 7th June 2022

Course Fee: FREE

Click here to apply

Level 1 Award – Introduction to Customer Service

This 6 week accredited course will cover the basic elements of how to deliver an excellent customer service experience and will cover topics such as legislation to communicating effectively with customers. You will develop and demonstrate skills that will support your progression into a role within a customer facing environment. This level is ideal if you have no prior experience.

Starting: Thursday 16th September 2021 at 9:30 – 14:30 and Wednesday 3rd November 9:30 – 14:30

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.

Job Club

The Job Club operates on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, in between 10am and 3pm, and it will give you the opportunity to:

  • Find out about local job opportunities available
  • Receive support applying for jobs
  • Use the computers for job search for up to 2 hours
  • Receive advice on interview techniques
  • Receive tips to enhance your CV
  • Find new ways to effectively job search
  • Receive advice on developing your skills for work

Our aim is to provide information and advice to anyone over the age of 19 who is actively looking for: full or part-time employment, volunteering opportunitiesApprenticeshipsfurther learningwork experience or work placement.

To book your 2 hours appointment slot with our experienced advisor please contact alessandra.mammone@reading.gov.uk or call 07970 412 569

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: