Local college’s pioneering programme provides opportunities for young people with disabilities

Local college_s pioneering programme provides opportunities for young people with disabilities2Hereward College student, Luke Elson, has secured permanent paid employment at Whitefriars Housing thanks to the college’s groundbreaking supported internship programme.

Supported internships are a study programme aimed at young people (aged 16 to 24) who have an education, health and care plan and need extra support to move into employment.

Hereward College has been working with a range of key employment partners including Whitefriars Housing, Severn Trent, National Grid and Airwave to deliver the programme which enables young people with disabilities to gain experience in the workplace within a supported environment.

Three students at Hereward have been on placement with Whitefriars Housing since September 2016 supported by a Job Coach who has helped with the transition into the world of work.

Zoey Rhodes, Hereward Job Coach says: “All of the interns at Whitefriars have grown in confidence since starting the internship and it’s great to see their progress.

I’m delighted that Luke has been successful in getting a paid position.  Supported internships are the bridge for people with learning difficulties between education and work and have helped our interns develop many new skills.

Luke Elson, Hereward intern says: “I am happy being at work, I have done lots of training and learnt new skills. I’m really pleased to have found a job and would recommend this experience to my friends as it might inspire them to do something they enjoy and they might just get a job out of it.”

Clive Rose, CleanWorks supervisor at Whitefriars Housing says: “It has been a pleasure working with Luke and we’re thrilled he is now a permanent member of the team. All the interns were very shy to start with so we have enjoyed watching their confidence grow over the months. The internship programme has been a great success and we’re very pleased that we have been able to give these young people this opportunity at the start of their working life.”

Watch the Whitefriars interns showcase what they have achieved this year

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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