Student Careers, Education, Information. Advice and Guidance

The Careers Education Information Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) Lead is Steve Hogarth who works closely with the Ascent College staff and students.

Career guidance

Careers learning centres on working with our partners to enable our students to understand themselves, obtain information, explore opportunities and develop the skills they need to manage their own development and make life choices and decisions about their future. Student destinations range from supported living options, supported internships to full-time jobs or Higher Education. These life choices benefit their own mental health and wellbeing and contribute to the wellbeing of others.

Students complete a personal vocational profile as they focus more on action planning and breaking down the barriers to future positive outcomes that include employment. Students use vocational profiles, skills audits, advice and guidance (internal and external through Careers Connect), talking mats, communication aids, PECS, Makaton to identify options available to them.

Regular student tutorials are timetabled and incorporate impartial advice from Career Connect Advisers.

Ascent College’s robust employability/careers programme (including work experience) provides our young adults with an understanding of the world of work and empowers them to gain the knowledge, skills, understanding and most importantly the resilience to achieve (wherever possible) work-related post-college destinations.

Breaking down the barriers to employment

Ascent College strives to ensure that every young person is inspired and prepared for the world of work. Students achieve this through the provision of taster opportunities and bespoke visits to local employers/businesses, work experience, enterprise education, independent travel training, access to leavers who act as role models and inspiring speakers.

Our robust employability/careers programme (including work experience) provides our young adults with an understanding of the world of work and empowers them to gain the knowledge, skills, understanding and most importantly the resilience to achieve (wherever possible) work-related post-college destinations.

Ascent College breaks down the barriers to accessing work through its excellent collaborative partnerships with local businesses and community groups. All students take part in real-life work experience opportunities and work towards identified personalised accreditation outcomes within their programme that will develop the skills needed for progression onto identified ambitious post-college destinations.

Embracing a diverse range of partners from all occupational areas helps us share an understanding and knowledge of autistic young adults, benefiting all parties by breaking down barriers to employment, reducing students’ vulnerability and increasing their resilience. 

Working in collaboration with our stakeholders

We nurture stakeholders through student run Business Breakfasts at our newly established Lyme and Wood Learning Hub, which was developed in collaboration with Enovert Waste Management Company- tasked with the upkeep of the park. This is home to our Pre-Loved Project where students learn new sustainability skills and sell recycled goods, front sustainability workshops and run their own café. Students in the college also run a print shop that creates bespoke t shirts and mugs in the main.

Our CEIAG Lead has developed a bespoke forestry curriculum with the Mersey Forest Team, which embraces the local Labour Market Information. This empowered students to work closely with Enovert/Mersey Forest to maintain this local park and another independent site at Colliers Moss and achieve their individual accredited qualification and Recognising And Recording Progress and Achievement (RARPA) targets (RARPA benefits our Preparation for Learning pathways). Placements have included forestry, horticulture, ecology, construction and photography.

The CEIAG Lead is also member of the Mersey Forest Advisory Group which recognises the importance of our expertise in SEND/inclusivity to their Strategic Planning, allowing for the sustainable development of student work placements/supported internships and potential countryside management/ecological jobs.

Collaboration with our Liverpool City Regional Hub Business Enterprise Coordinator has initiated work placements with regional businesses such as Galliford Try. Gallifords supported our Social Media Group enabling students to learn about the construction industry and also offered a work placement to one student who was keen to watch the development of a local school through regular site visits.

This group also released a vlog about the needs of autistic employees but staff also provide bespoke therapy and educational training for all community stakeholders. This is on the Wargrave You Tube account:

Another well-established community partnership with Earlestown Cricket Club involves the joint development of the club grounds and a sensory garden that has proved popular in maintaining community well-being. Students have developed raised beds as part of a joint market gardening project to grow vegetables for the food bank. Club members utilize their expertise to support construction and horticultural work and are conversant with communication aids such as Proloquo2Go and Makaton.

Our partners

Other partnership placements include:

    • hospitality at the local Mercure Hotel (Haydock) and Holiday Inn (Wigan)
    • managing and maintaining a bespoke landfill country park at Lyme and Wood Country Park with Enovert for the benefit of local people
    • animal management at a local farm
    • the RSPCA
    • Little Bears Day Nursery
    • habitat management with local rangers
    • working with the Hope Centre Foodbank
    • hospitality at Haydock Races with the Jockey Club
    • developing circus skills with ‘Stiklings’ and building on their employability skills

particularly following health and safety protocol and making dynamic risk assessments

  • developing communication skills, social interaction and flexibility by serving customers in community centres (e.g. Newton family and Community Centre) and charity shops.


‘Alumni’ students now regularly attend the Ascent coffee mornings where they informally pass on their personal work/college experiences, guidance and advice to our current students. These coffee mornings are organised and staffed by students as part of their Open Awards, Skills for Learning and Employment (SFLE) qualifications (see Cosy Corner Cafe).
Ascent students embarked on a new venture in 2021 by opening an onsite weekly café. All staff/students/learners throughout the organisation (5-25) have access to this. The weekly café is open once a week to all staff and students and has created a hub of positive energy.

Student Life

Student named DoE ‘Voice of Neurodiversity’ Youth Ambassador

Student named Duke of Edinburgh’s Youth Ambassador Ascent Autism Specialist College student, Courtney, has been chosen as the voice of neurodiversity for the Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Youth Ambassador programme. The DofE UK Youth Ambassador programme involves a...