Staffordshire employers are being urged to find out more about how they can broaden their workforce and bring added value to their organisations through a countywide internship programme.
Businesses and organisations across the county have already been making positive changes to become more accessible and inclusive to young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND), giving them invaluable employment and training opportunities.
The supported internships programme, coordinated by the county council, is a work-based study programme for 16 to 24-year-olds, where learners spend time both in a learning environment and in the workplace, supported by a job coach.
Monday was National Supported Internship Day, raising awareness of the contribution that young adults with special educational needs and disability (SEND) can make to a workforce and the economy.
The initiative is run by DFN Project SEARCH, a business-led, one-year transition programme for young adults with a learning disability or autism spectrum conditions. It found that that 70 per cent of people who complete their supported internships go on to secure full time employment, thanks to the skills and confidence they gain during the programme.
The supported internships programme is fully funded with no cost to businesses. It matches the right person to the business with a job coach to support them and provides team training. There’s no expectation on offering employment when a placement has finished.
More information for businesses and organisations can be seen through the links below.
Gez Prendergast, is training manager at logistics service provider Wincanton, which locally works with Screwfix. He said:
“We have a vested interest in working with people from underrepresented groups. The support we get through the programme is huge and well organised. We have regular face-to-face meetings and email communication.
“The scheme has surpassed all our expectations at every level and delivered immeasurable value to our business. There’s no financial implication as it’s completely funded. It’s an absolute win-win in every aspect.”