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28th March 2017

A programme aimed at helping young people with additional needs will soon be celebrating its fifth birthday.

To celebrate the milestone, Hull College’s Supported Internship Programme will be inviting students, past and present as well as the employers who support the programme, to mark the fifth year of the course and share success stories to inspire other young people and promote the course in the local area.

On Friday 31 March, employers such as Hull City Council, Royal Mail, The Freedom Centre, TCV, Savers and many more, are invited to the Maxwell Bird building at Hull College’s Queens Gardens site to hear from the students that have benefited from the work they provided through the programme and hopefully share how the businesses benefited from the excellent standard shown by the students over the last 5 years.

The Supported Internship is a structured study programme that enables young people with disabilities or learning difficulties to gain valuable work skills and experience with local employers. The College was one of fifteen selected to run this pilot scheme in 2012 which provided an alternative to traineeships.

The programme aims to help students with additional needs overcome the barriers of entering into employment and develop important life skills.

Alongside time with an employer, the students are able to complete a personalised study programme which includes the opportunity to work towards a BTEC Workskills qualification, as well as qualifications in English and Maths.

The study programme has been specially designed to place students in suitable work placements. Students are matched with employers in their fields of interest rather than putting them in pre-set internships that may be unsuitable to their needs.  

Caroline Berriman, Curriculum Leader said: “We are very proud of this course which is preparing young people with additional needs to access opportunities that they may have struggled to find in the past.

 “So far, the programme has been a great success and many of our students have moved onto employment or volunteering after completing the Supported Internship course.

“The skills, experience and coping strategies they have gained on the course have been key to opening up opportunities and giving them a great start to their future.”

David Woodhouse, former student said, “In my opinion this programme is a must do course for people with learning difficulties or disabilities as it will really boost their confidence and can lead on to higher education learning.”

“Interviews were starting to get me down despite my best efforts and I knew that if I could obtain my level 2 English it would really improve my chances.”

“I was successful in gaining an apprenticeship with Hull City Council in the Guildhall post room following my time in a 3 week work placement. The experience I gained form this was invaluable and I developed skills that I can take with me and transfer to other roles.”

The employers taking part in the programme have reported clear benefits from taking on students in this programme. The success of the Supported Internship Programme has also allowed the team to offer support and guidance to other organisations, including the Hull City Council and the Pathway Plus provision.

Councillor Phil Webster, Portfolio Holder for Learning, Skills and Safeguarding Children, said: “The Supported Internship Programme delivered by Hull College is a fantastic and worthwhile scheme, enabling disabled young people to achieve sustainable paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need for employment through learning in the workplace.

“As a large employer within the city it is important we support our learning partners in providing work experience placements, with a plan to matching the young people’s chosen career goals and an area within the Council. Since January 2014 we have offered 24 placements to students on this programme many of them have gone onto further education or employment as a direct result of their placements with us.

“I would like to congratulate Hull College on their success, the students and our departments have gained so much from these placements.”

The event is planned for Friday 31 March 2.00pm