Internship partnership with college secures jobs for young people with disabilities

Internship opportunities for young people with disabilities and additional needs have turned into full-time employment at WM Housing.

Mikael Casey and Kane Pitt, from Coventry, successfully applied for jobs at WM Housing Group after participating in a supported internship programme with the social landlord.

Supported internships are a work-based study programme run by Hereward College, in Coventry, and aimed at young people (aged 16 to 24) who have an EHC (Education, Health and Care) plan, and need extra support to move into employment.

Statistics show that people with learning difficulties have only a 7% likelihood of finding paid employment and supported internships are increasingly successful in providing a platform for young people with disabilities to further develop their skills and experience in a structured way.

Claire Hardwick, Head of Community Investment at WM Housing, said: “We are delighted that Mikael and Kane have both secured permanent paid positions within our Finance and Cleanworks teams.

“They have both worked so hard on their internships with us and we are sure they will make a real success of their new roles within the organisation.

“The staff at WM Housing also benefit enormously by working alongside the supported interns and seeing how they have grown and developed in confidence and skills during the course of their supported internship.”

As a college for young people with disabilities and additional needs, Hereward provides its learners with a varied curriculum that focuses on skills for independent living and employment.

A supported internship is available to all young people aged 16-24 who have an EHC plan and are keen to get into employment.

The college works with a range of partner employers and the young people spend up to 30 hours a week working in different areas to gain valuable experience with the support of an on-site Hereward Job Coach.

The interns also spend one day a week at Hereward College to study a City & Guilds qualification in Employability Skills and can take maths and English qualifications suitable to their level.