The Coalyard Transition Programme

‘Work it Out’ at The Coalyard is a two year full time transition programme which provides training and education for individuals with learning disabilities or significant additional support needs.

The purpose of the programme is to prepare suitable candidates for employment by providing them with a training programme run on-site at the council’s tearoom in Larkhall. The Coalyard provides an ideal environment to support people with disabilities in the workplace.

The Coalyard is a workforce alternative for pupils leaving school; in their last year of college or looking for training for work. Each individual applies to the programme and is accepted through a selection process. The Coalyard is run as a partnership between private sector businesses, South Lanarkshire’s Community Cafés, Supported Employment and New College Lanarkshire. 

The goal is to provide a variety of work experiences in the field of hospitality. In the first year of the programme these activities will take place in the Coalyard Tearoom and in local Community Cafés. Depending on the level of progress achieved in year one, there will be an opportunity for further employer led work placements in year two. These work-focused activities will support students with significant additional support needs, to acquire the necessary skills which in turn, may lead to meaningful employment.

The foundation of the Coalyard is to immerse students in the business three days per week, with two additional learning days spent at New College Lanarkshire. For each of the three days spent in placements, students report to the Coalyard for a 9am start to begin their rotation. This may be based in the laundry, kitchen, public tearoom or satellite cafés, where the objective is to learn the skills required for each specific job role. The other two days spent at College will be focused on working towards the achievement of a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ). This learning will go hand in hand with the different tasks experienced while working at the Coalyard. Students also participate in monthly progress meetings to define their career goal and plan the necessary steps to work toward year two. 

Year two focuses more on supporting the students to use the learning gained from the Coalyard to progress into work-place rotations that include the Satellite Cafés and local employers. These locations are chosen where possible, to match each candidate’s chosen career goal.

Local employers work with the Coalyard Café Instructors and Vocational Development Assistants to support the students. Students get continual feedback from a variety of sources, including the employer, co-workers and Coalyard staff.

Students continue to attend college during year two, with the learning focused around achieving an employability award such as ASDAN or Certificate of Work Readiness. This learning will focus on reflecting on their workplace experiences, problem solving, planning and recording their key learning outcomes. The ultimate goal upon programme completion is to achieve competitive employment utilising the skills learned on the placements and throughout the college learning programme.

There are many benefits of participating in the Work It Out programme for all parties. Students can acquire competitive, transferable and marketable job skills, as well as gaining increased independence, confidence, and self-esteem. The community employers benefit from working with employees with significant additional support needs, who serve as role models for colleagues and customers.

The Coalyard model will also lead the way in creating partnerships between education, adult employment services, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Council in order to ensure a whole-life approach to supporting young people into employment.


  • Candidates must live in South Lanarkshire, be aged 16-24 years old and have left school
  • Meet eligibility requirements for the Scottish Government as per the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2014
  • Be able to use public transport when available or have access to own transport
  • Be able and prepared to work in catering (paying particular attention to appearances, personal hygiene and problem solving)
  • Ability to communicate with others
  • Be able to cope with the demands of a work placement
  • Have the desire and willingness to gain paid employment (minimum 16 hours per week) at the conclusion of this programme

For an application pack please email

The Coalyard


1 Caledonian Road
Phone: 01698 889902
Email: The Coalyard