A TILEHURST school is reaping the benefits of a partnership with IKEA to help students with learning difficulties into employment.

Brookfields Specialist School, Sage Road, has teamed up with IKEA in Calcot to help students and to support the school's Pangbourne House Life Skills Centre, which the school will be opening in spring.

The partnership has seen the creation of a dedicated programme to support pupils into the world of work.

Work based placements have given the students an opportunity to learn and demonstrate their ‘soft skills’ in the work place.

In addition to the work based learning, students that are interested in part time employment can attend an assessment day to meet staff, attend an informal interview, and take part in various activities.

If successful, the candidates are invited back for a more formal interview.

As well as supporting Brookfields students with work opportunities, IKEA is helping with the development of a new Life Skills Centre that Brookfields is opening in Pangbourne.

The centre will give older students the opportunity to develop valuable life skills including shopping, cooking and cleaning in a home environment.

It will also act as a training centre for learning a range of vocational skills.

IKEA has donated and installed a brand new kitchen and fully furnished the house.

Kim Chin-Sung, IKEA Reading Store Manager, said: "When opening our doors to the community back in July 2016, we wanted to play our part as a good neighbour by creating a better everyday life for the people of Reading.

"Since then we have built a strong relationship with Brookfields School, starting with work experience, and have now supported with the implementation of the new life skills centre.

"We hope our work with Brookfields School has helped to create a lasting, positive change for the students and their families."

Headteacher of Brookfields, Brandon Mills, said: "We are absolutely delighted that we have developed such a positive relationship with IKEA.

"We have been incredibly impressed with their enthusiasm and willingness to support the school and our students."