Fairfield College is committed to providing our students with careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) whilst introducing them to the world of work. Our specialist team of staff will support students every step of the way. Communication, resilience, time keeping, problem solving, teamwork and leadership are just a few of the skills students will develop whilst being a student at Fairfield.

Our Careers Programme at Fairfield College will enable students to grow in confidence through accessing work based learning, supported work experience placements and finally for some student’s independent work experience placements in an industry or job role linked to their future aspirations. Fairfield students are supported on work placement by Job Coaches and Learning Support Assistants. Staff at Fairfield embed careers into all areas of the curriculum.

Students at Fairfield College have the opportunity to take part in impartial one to one Pathway Planning meetings with our Careers Lead to think about and plan their next steps post college. Some students move into paid or voluntary employment, some students into further education or training and some students into supported living. Fairfield students where applicable are supported and encouraged to access local Wiltshire services such as Community Connecting or Wiltshire Employment Support Team (WEST).

Fairfield College students when 19+ and were appropriate take part in impartial one to one meetings with a level 6 advisor from the National Careers Service. During this one to one meeting students are supported to work with the advisor to create an action plan and CV with professional support. Please follow the link below to access the National Careers Service: https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk

Fairfield College proactively works in line with the Department for Education Career guidance strategy and the eight Gatsby Benchmarks:

  1. A stable careers programme
  2. Learning from career and labour market information
  3. Addressing the needs of each pupil
  4. Linking curriculum learning to careers
  5. Encounters with employers and employees
  6. Experiences of workplaces
  7. Encounters with further and higher education
  8. Personal guidance

How is Fairfield College working to meet the Gatsby Benchmarks?

Please see our 2023-2024 Careers Programme and what is happening against each of the eight Gatsby Benchmarks:

2023-24 careers programme here.

Fairfield College evaluates its performance against the Gatsby Benchmarks termly using the Compass Tool developed by the Careers and Enterprise Company and submits its performance percentages.  Fairfield College students take part in a careers programme survey on an annual basis and staff, employers, parents and stakeholders on a two year basis. The findings from these surveys help us evaluate, modify and improve or careers programme.

Fairfield College Careers Programme aims to inspire and raise the aspirations of all students. Encourage students to have a positive self-image. Give students the chance to develop the skills and experiences needed to support their chosen pathway. The careers programme will inform students of the range of opportunities available to them, encouraging them to aim higher and make choices relevant to what they feel they can achieve. Students will have the opportunity to take part in a range of career related activities, employer engagements and work based learning and work experiences.

Students attending Fairfield College will study for a BTEC qualification in Work Skills, Hospitality & Tourism or Vocational studies. Fairfield College has recently changed to a BTEC qualification to provide our students with a career focussed, industry recognised qualification that enables learners to develop and apply the knowledge, skills and behaviours that employers or Further education or training providers are looking for.

Students on our Vocational Studies Programme will have access to a personal timetable (BM3), work based learning (BM6), employer engagement opportunities (BM5) and careers advice and guidance (BM8). 

Students on our Work Skills Programme will have access to a personal timetable (BM3), work based learning (BM6), employer engagement opportunities (BM5), external work experience placements (BM6), mock interviews with a real employer (BM5) and careers advice and guidance (BM8). Students studying work skills will learn about rights and responsibilities in the work place, behaviour at work, how to create a CV, different ways you can apply for a job and develop key employability skills. 

Students on our Hospitality and Tourism Programme will have access to a personal timetable (BM3), work based learning in a real pub (BM6), employer engagement opportunities (BM5) and careers advice and guidance (BM8). Students will develop an understanding of food hygiene standards and behaviour at work. 

Measuring the impact of the Fairfield College Careers Programme

Fairfield College tracks alumni destinations for three years Post College. It is worth noting that the UK national statistic for people with a learning disability gaining paid employment is currently 4.8%. 13% of Fairfield College alumni from 2021 are now in paid employment. 21% of Fairfield College alumni from 2022 are now in paid employment. It is predicted that around 21% of Fairfield College alumni from 2023 will be in paid employment within the next 6-12 months. Fairfield College believes this success demonstrates that our Careers Programme is working and gaining results for our students.  

Fairfield College promotes the Careers Development (CDI) Framework as part of our Careers Programme: https://www.thecdi.net/new-career-development-framework

  1. Grow throughout life. Learn and reflect on yourself and know your strengths.
  2. Explore possibilities. Learn about the culture of different workplaces.
  3. Manage career. Make the most of opportunities and learn from setbacks.
  4. Create opportunities. Be proactive and build positive relationships with others.
  5. Balance life and work. Balance work, wellbeing and your involvement with your family and community.
  6. See the big picture. Pay attention to how the economy, politics and society fit with your own life and career.


Labour market information is important so that you know what is happening in your local area and what job opportunities may be available now and in the future. Below is a great link to an SEND friendly LMI website covering Swindon & Wiltshire. If you have difficulties with reading you can click on the sound links and listen:


The Fairfield College Careers Programme will support you as a student to:

  • Understand who you are, your interests, abilities and aspirations.
  • Help build your confidence, listening and communication skills.
  • Help you make well informed choices about your future and next steps.
  • Help you to learn about different careers, what they involve and how to get into them.
  • Help you to understand the range of options available to you when you leave college including paid employment, volunteering, independent living, further training or education opportunities, Apprenticeships and Traineeships etc.
  • Help you develop your transferable employability skills to maximise your chances of gaining paid or voluntary employment when you leave college (if this is your chosen path).
  • Help you learn how to searching for jobs, how to write a CV, develop your interview skills.

You can use CareerPilot to look at different Job sectors and find out about different jobs, the qualifications needed for different jobs, how much you get paid and routes into that job:


Fairfield College Careers Programme information for parents/carers

Parent/carer involvement and support is key to a successful careers programme, positive outcomes and transitions. Fairfield College will ensure that:

  • Parents/carers will be sent a copy of the notes from their young person’s pathway planning meeting.
  • Parents/carers will be kept informed and up to date of any work experience opportunities that their young person is involved in.
  • Parents/carers will have direct communication with their young person’s personal tutor.
  • Parents/carers will be sent the college careers newsletters throughout the year by email.
  • Parents/carers will be informed of any timetable changes.
  • Parents/carers will be given the chance to provide feedback on the college careers programme.

To gain more of an understanding of the Wiltshire local offer please click on the below preparing for adulthood link:


Fairfield College Careers Programme information for employers        

Fairfield College has built positive and meaningful relationships with a range of local employers who support the college with employer engagement and work experience opportunities. Employer engagement is a vital part of the learner journey. If you are an employer or organisation that would like to support the Fairfield College Careers Programme please click on our work experience document to find out more. 

Link work experience document here. 

Fairfield College Careers Programme information for college staff

All Fairfield College staff are responsible for the Fairfield College Careers Programme. Fairfield College staff may be involved in the following ways:

  • Delivering BTEC course units.
  • Delivering work based learning opportunities.
  • Using Training in Systematic Instruction (TSI).
  • Employer engagement.
  • Supporting work experience.
  • Delivering training in employability skills.
  • Supporting careers related activities.
  • Delivering independence skills training.
  • Involvement in EHCP reviews.
  • Discussing next steps and future opportunities.


Fairfield is the lead SEND Provider within Swindon and Wiltshire Careers Hub and also part of the Swindon and Wiltshire Enterprise Adviser Network.

Fairfield works closely with Wiltshire Employment Support Team (WEST) and Community Connecting.

Fairfield works with a range of employers on work experience placements and employer engagement.

Relevant downloads

Click to download the relevant document

FFC Careers Programme document

Careers Education Strategy

Want more information? Get in touch

Darren Barber

Careers Manager/Careers Leader


01373 823028


Fairfield College recommends the following websites to help prepare young people on their world of work journey. Click the link to visit the website.


A free website that provides impartial careers information to young people in the South West region.

National Careers Service

Information, advice and guidance to help you make decisions on learning, training and work.

Skills Builder

A free online resource that helps individuals develop the essential skills required by employers and throughout life.

Get Ahead

A toolkit and resources (including newsletters) that supports young people with disabilities to explore education, training and the world of work.

Wiltshire Employment Support Team (WEST)

The Wiltshire Employment Support Team (WEST) assists people with disabilities into finding and sustaining varying levels of paid employment with local employers.

Community Connecting

Education, employment (voluntary work) and training services for young people up to the age of 25 with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

Swindon and Wiltshire Careers Explorer

You can find out about a wide range of careers and find local vacancies, courses, and apprenticeships. 

Down Syndrome Workfit

Workfit is the Down’s syndrome Association’s employment programme which brings together employers and job seekers who have Down’s syndrome.

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