Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

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Training Information

Orkney is fortunate in having a range of agencies offering opportunities for education, training and employment for people with learning disabilities within the county. St Colm’s employs a full time Employment Co-ordinator who works with local businesses to provide paid and unpaid employment opportunities.


Careers Scotland

A Careers Scotland Careers Adviser will be available to any young person with a ‘Record of Needs’ from the Future Needs Assessment at age 15 or younger. The Careers Adviser will work with the young person whilst they are in secondary education, helping them to develop a realistic action plan which accords with their career aspirations. Careers Scotland personnel continue to support clients with learning disabilities throughout their working life.

Careers Scotland provides a Key Worker service offering post-school support to young people aged 16 to 24, with recognised learning disabilities. The focus of activity is on post-school opportunities. Any work prior to a young person leaving education is carried out with the school, Careers Adviser and or employment.

The Key Worker methodology is person centred, whilst acknowledging the vital role of parents or carers in providing transition support to their children.

Careers Advisors also operate a personal advisory service for the Get Ready for Work programme locally, in partnership with Orkney Enterprise staff. This involves referring clients to the programmes and monitoring their progress through attendance at case conferences and reviews.

They can also refer students to the Moving On Course or a personal programme at Orkney College. For more information about Careers Scotland please see their website within the Related Sites section.

Orkney College

A key aim of Orkney College is to ‘provide a diverse range of education and training both to meet market needs and encourage participation within an inclusiveness agenda’.

The College continues to endeavour to make all courses open and accessible. A variety of support systems are available to students at the pre-entry, entry, on course and exit stage of their course. Monitoring and evaluation of these support systems are undertaken on an on-going basis, so leading to continual improvement.

The College offers a variety of progression courses to people with additional needs.

The Moving On Course for school leavers, focuses on the development of a broad base of skills required for life, work and on the development of confidence and maturity.

Development has been made to create a Personal Programme Scheme where students can undertake elements from across the College curriculum. Personal Programmes are developed to accommodate specific individual needs and interests as far as possible. The College plans to further develop this scheme.

There are opportunities for adults with additional needs to study in a variety of areas including Hospitality where SVQs at Level One can be studied, Art and Design, Agriculture and Horticulture. For more information about Orkney College please see their website within the Related Sites section.

The Open Learning Department offer a variety of opportunities to study on a flexible basis. One to one or group sessions are available for any student whose needs can be addressed by dedicated tuition on literacy and numeracy.

Learning Link

The Learning Link specialises in literacy and numeracy education for adults of all abilities and has increasingly become involved with people with learning disabilities.

St Colm’s Day Centre

St Colm’s Day Centre specialises in providing services for adults with learning disabilities. These include training in life skills, computer skills, cooking, sport, pottery, horticulture, crafts and includes workshops. In addition, support is given to service users accessing mainstream resources at Orkney College, The Pickaquoy Centre, Kirkwall and Stromness Libraries.