Hereward’s pioneering programme provides opportunities for young people with disabilities

Hereward 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 has 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: