The Harington Scheme in north London provides vocational training and life skills for young adults with learning disabilities and/or difficulties to help them into employment and further education. There are four strands to the provision:
1: The Skills Pathways (Horticulture, Retail and Choices) aim to prepare learners for work or further study.
Learners work to obtain qualifications and skills in horticulture, retail, employability and personal and social development. Their individual programmes are designed as holistic packages that develop transferable skills vital for successful and sustained employment. These programmes usually run for up to two years. Additional support in literacy, numeracy, job searching, life skills and work experience develops each learner’s talents and abilities, helping them to lead fuller lives and to take up a range of employment and educational opportunities.
2: Harington Gardeners is an employment and training initiative offering a stepping stone for those learners who are not ready to go straight into work at the end of their training. It operates as a garden maintenance company and generates income through contracts with local organisations and private customers, although its main focus is on developing assistant gardeners’ skills and independence.
3: The Harington Charity Shop offers practical work experience in retail and customer service skills for learners on Harington's Skills Pathways programmes. All profits from the shop are used to support Harington's activities.
4: Harington's Day Service provision offers horticultural activity of a therapeutic nature to young people and adults with a learning disability or mental health support needs. Every learner has an individual programme of activities to support their personal development and skill needs. The majority of learners are found a job or further training when they leave and Harington supports them and liaises with employers for as long as is needed.