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Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT) student Tessa Coventry has been described as a “real asset” by volunteers at the Community Furniture Project in Basingstoke, having recently completed 100 hours of work experience with the local charity.Since February 2018, Tessa has been volunteering with the local charity as part of her Employability Skills course. The experience has given Tessa a wide range of new skills, including customer service, retail skills, fire safety compliance, upholstery and mentoring. All of Tessa’s hard work has led her to secure a permanent position at a nearby local supermarket.BCoT has excellent relationships with a wide range of employers, and works closely with local businesses to find students valuable work experience opportunities that benefit both the student and the organisation. Tessa, who joined BCoT from specialist secondary school Dove House School Academy, said “The first day [of work experience] was a little scary but as soon as the staff showed me where everything was I settled into things. The staff have been really nice and supportive and I’ve loved learning lots of new skills.”Jonathan White, Volunteer Mentoring Officer at The Community Furniture Project, added: “Tessa has always been full of enthusiasm throughout her time with us. Her confidence has improved massively and it’s been great to see how much she has developed. She picked things up so quickly and has even been teaching other volunteers how to cover chairs, which shows just how much she has grown. She is a real asset to us and to BCoT”.Amy Robertson, Specialist Provision Facilitator at BCoT, who has worked closely with Tessa said “Tessa has been a real asset to my class. Her confidence has grown over this academic year and it has been lovely to see her flourish. Before the placement Tessa was nervous and unsure however her confidence and employability skills have noticeably grown and she has now got a job outside of college.”Tessa is due to complete her studies with BCoT in the summer. Speaking of her time at BCoT, Tessa added: “I’ve had a really good time at BCoT. My tutors have always been really nice and supported me and I’m leaving to go straight into work”. The Specialist Provision department at BCoT provides alternative curriculum and tailored programmes for students who would benefit from a unique, tailored curriculum. Working with dedicated Student Support staff, their range of courses help students to develop academic, emotional, social, life and employability skills to prepare them for the future. Find out more about Specialist Provision courses available at BCoT.