Hereward interns get opportunity boost

The Employability team at Hereward College in Coventry are successfully expanding their Supported Internship programme this Autumn, having secured new partnerships with three local businesses; Severn Trent Water, Airwave and Whitefriars Housing.

Nestled at the top of Bramston Crescent in Tile Hill, Hereward predominantly caters for students with a range of disabilities and learning difficulties. With a national statistic of just a 7% likelihood of young people with disabilities finding paid employment, the College is committed to providing high quality work experience schemes to ensure all of their learners can further develop their skills and experience in order to reach their potential.

Having already been working with National Grid, University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire and The Employment Support Service (part of Coventry City Council’s Employment Team), the programme is seeing rapid growth as more employers in the region are stepping up to become involved in the scheme.

A total of nine of Hereward’s learners will be working within the three organisations from the start of September, and will be rotating across a selection of different departments over the academic year. Each student is supported not only by the company staff, but by an on-site Job Coach employed by Hereward.

Airwave, a Motorola Solutions-owned critical communications company with offices in Rugby, will induct interns across three departments; IT, Customer Service and Security.

Ian McCullagh, vice president at Motorola Solutions and Airwave’s managing director, said: “We are delighted to be working with Hereward College on this initiative. Motorola Solutions is supporting young talent around the world and we hope our new interns will enjoy working with us and getting to know the solutions that we develop.”

As a part of Coventry City’s business network, the recruitment of Severn Trent promises to be an influential asset. Mike Williamson, Head of Network Control and Asset Management said: “This is a hugely exciting project for Severn Trent. We’re proud to be working with Hereward College on a scheme which has great benefits for our community and we hope this is the start of a long and productive relationship.”

Severn Trent’s interns will be learning from their Customer Service, Asset Data and Property teams.

Whitefriars Housing in Coventry, part of the WM Housing Group, have also picked up the supported internship baton. Offering young people opportunities to experience the inner workings of the company’s Property Maintenance teams, they will assist in the organisation’s cleaning and garden upkeep.

Learning and Development Manager Michaela Hyman has been instrumental in assembling the intern’s placements: “We are extremely excited and enthused to welcome our interns into the business and are already setting up training plans and inductions for our ‘Cleanworks’ placements starting in the Autumn.”

Whitefriars is also aiming to take on an additional three office-based interns at the beginning of 2017 to work across Lettings and Customer Services, their Neighbourhoods team and Property Services department.

These new appointments not only help expand the current programme, but offers greater potential for their learners to buck the 7% statistic. Previous Hereward interns who have joined the supported programme are now moving into both full and part-time paid employment.