A scheme which helps young people with disabilities people into work has taken home a national award.
WM Housing’s Supported Internship scheme, run in partnership Hereward College, won Best Apprenticeship Scheme at the 24housing Awards at a ceremony at the Ricoh Arena .
WM Housing took on nine internships from Hereward College, which supports young people with disabilities, between September 2017 and June 2018 and four of the interns went on to gain permanent employment with the organisation.
Mikael Casey gained a job in the finance team, Kane Pitt and Richard O’Hara as CleanWorks operatives, and Alex Nghiem is working as an admin assistant with CleanWorks.
The project beat off competition from across the UK to win the award.
Claire Hardwick, Head of Customer Involvement and Engagement at WM Housing, said: “We’re delighted to have won this award as it recognises what a fabulous programme this is and the really positive impact it can have for all involved.
“The main credit obviously goes to the students who have taken part in the programme and made such a success of their internships. The host managers and host teams, as well as the Hereward College team and job coaches, have done a wonderful job in supporting the interns and helping them to develop their skills and confidence. This is a real partnership initiative that everyone can be really proud of.
“We currently have six new supported interns that joined the WM team and we are excited about all the potential positive impact of this year’s programme too.
Paul Cook, Principal at Hereward College said: “The Supported Internship model has shown real results and continues to grow year on year, showing demonstrable benefits to both learners and business.
“We need employers who are as passionate and determined as we are, along with learners with ambition and the desire to work really hard.
“WM Housing are a great example of an employer who are really behind this programme, and the success of the interns in gaining permanent employment is a testament to their ongoing commitment to the scheme.
“Statistics show that people with learning difficulties have a 7% likelihood of finding paid employment and not only does the supported internship programme go some way to increasing employment chances but also helps fill the skills gap in many industries.”