Parents FAQ

Matching skills and areas of difficulty with sustainable, fulfilling job opportunities

Parents FAQ

We know this is a big step for many families and we want to help ensure this transition is as smooth as possible. We truly believe there is a future and rewarding employment for everyone, and whilst that may look different for each person, it is our job to match skills and areas of difficulty with sustainable, fulfilling job opportunities. If there is anything not covered in our parent FAQ, please send us an email.
What is vocational training?
Vocational training is a mixture of hands-on and theory based learning. It prepares learners for the future and for certain employment pathways. At Steps, it also ensures learners can self-advocate, problem solve, work as part of a team and become independent. Vocational training works as a connecting link between theoretical education and the real working environment.
You have many programmes in different locations, I'm not sure which one to pick

Our centre at Ekamai 10 offers 3 programmes, life skills, preparation for the future, and transition to employment, and work with learners generally for age 14 and up, with no age limit.

Our centre at St Andrews International School 107, offers a hybrid programme where learners 14-21 years of age can access our 3 programmes as above, alongside joining mainstream sessions. It will be discussed with your family during the trial day which mainstream sessions are best suited.

How do I know if my family member is ready for an employability programme?

We work with trainees (our word for learners/students) typically from the age of 14 yet we know that regardless of age, some trainees just aren’t ready, but what’s important is that they are on an outcomes based pathway and begin to experience work in a supportive environment. Their confidence, self-esteem and transferable skills grow quickly and they begin to explore the future at a pace that suits them.

My family member is academic, I'm worried they won't be stretched in a programme like this.

Our UK accredited curriculum, ASDAN, has a diverse range of programmes which can cater to those with an academic focus. We also run BTEC which is a higher-level qualification that has a university pathway and that can be run alongside the IB. In the case where ASDAN and BTEC are not suitable, we have our in-house accredited curriculum that focuses on expanding the strengths of the learner and preparing for the real world.

All of our trainees are on individualised programmes because we respect and understand that each trainee has their learning style, motivations, and goals. Our graduates have entered into university foundation and bachelors programmes both locally and internationally.

So are you a school or a restaurant?

We are a vocational training centre. That means we have classrooms as well as real work environments including our coffee shop and cafe, office, an art studio. Trainees spend time in the training centre as well as in the work environment and the amount of time is calculated by their age, pathway and interests. When they are ready, some trainees attend internships and work placements at our partner companies.

My family member isn't interested in cooking or the hospitality industry.

That’s absolutely fine as we utilise the coffee shops (7 in Thailand) and our other social businesses as platforms to learn transferable skills such as communication, interaction, following instructions and problem solving. The trainees understand they are practicing essential skills for their futures and that they aren’t expected to be a barista.

Depending on where they are in the programme, their day will be split between hands-on learning in our work simulation and real work environments, collecting evidence of their learning for their portfolio, preparing their own lunch, and going out into the community to learn how to open a bank account.

How does it work if I want to try it out first?

Before joining the programme, we invite all new trainees for a trial day (2,500 baht) during which they will try a range of different activities and meet their peers whilst our team of specialists complete a pre-assessment of their strengths, possible pathway, and suitability for our programme. A report will be shared and discussed in person with each family.

How long does my family member need to stay in the programme?

This depends on each child’s individual strengths and challenges but for those over 18, we endeavour to have them work ready in 12-18 months. For our younger trainees, they tend to stay with us until 18 and then transition into employment within 6 months. We see much better results when trainees join us from a younger age, typically because their self-esteem and confidence has been less impacted, though that is not the case for every learner.

I don't want my family member to work somewhere else before/after they graduate, can they work with you?

We will always try our best to employ in-house and have grown rapidly to offer as many opportunities as possible. That being said, we have a capacity and also want to support as many graduates to find meaningful work with our employment partners.

I don't want my family member to come full time, can they come part time?

Again, this is dependent on the person. For some, part-time alongside mainstream school works well, for others they really need to be with us full time to benefit. A recommendation will be made during the trial day.

My family member is considered ‘low functioning’, will they be able to access a programme like this?
We believe everyone has the ability to do something fulfilling and needed. What might be considered boring to some could be extremely satisfying for others. From stamping envelopes and packing boxes to writing blogs for our website and doing accounting, there is always a way to tap into realistic capabilities and sustainable job opportunities.
My family member isn't special needs but has mental health problems/benefits from a less academic route, how would it work with them joining Steps?
The same as everyone else, they would get an individual programme. As a team, we see the trainees we need to push hard and we also see the ones who need a softer approach. By having a capacity of 30 trainees, we have both the staffing and time to see everyone as an individual and build effective relationships with our trainees. Where appropriate, we bring the whole team of trainees together for certain sessions such as soft skills or communication. It’s so busy with everyone’s personal projects and pathways that they may only see each other during breaks, just like a regular workplace. The mix of special needs and non-special needs is beneficial on both sides.
What does an average day at Steps look like?
It looks different depending on where you’re standing! Most days, the trainees come down to open the coffee shop which involves completing a whole host of tasks. After that, they branch off into their specific departments, perhaps with a yoga session to begin with or an art therapy session. There’s a great deal of flexibility and choice as that’s exactly what they deserve and need to grow.

Do you have more questions?

Please feel free to contact us for further questions.