Internship scheme which helps young people with disabilities shortlisted for prestigious award

A scheme which helps young disabled people in Coventry into work has been shortlisted for a national award.

Our Supported Internship scheme, run in partnership with Hereward College, has been shortlisted for the 24housing Awards.

We took on nine internships from Hereward College, which supports young people with disabilities, between September 2017 and June 2018 and four of the interns have gone 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.

Claire Hardwick, Head of Customer Involvement and Engagement at WM Housing, said: “We are delighted that the supported internship programme has been shortlisted for this prestigious award.

“This scheme has been a fantastic partnership with Hereward College and all of the interns made a real success of their time with the organisation.

“We’re so pleased that we’ve been able to welcome Mikael, Kane, Richard and Alex to the organisation in permanent paid positions.

“As well as helping young people with disabilities into paid employment, this has been a great initiative for staff here at WM Housing who gain a lot by working alongside the supported interns. It has been such a success that we will continue with the programme for our third year with six new interns starting in September.”

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.”

The final of the 24housing Awards takes place at the Ricoh Arena on 24th October.