The first cohort of a new Supported Internship Programme for young people with a learning disability have just graduated.
The programme was developed as a partnership between Plymouth City Council and City College Plymouth to enable young people with learning difficulties and or disabilities to achieve sustainable, paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need for work through learning in the workplace.
The students and their families celebrated at a special graduation ceremony where the Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Terri Beer presented them with the graduation certificate in front of many of the teams who had supported them across their work placements in the last year.
The work placements were across Council departments including Parking, 1st Stop Shop, Bereavement Services, Libraries and the Concierge team. CATERed also provided places for the young people in their school kitchens.
Some of the young interns also recently went on an Erasmus field trip to Helsinki, Finland where they took part in a range of activities and classes with Helsinki Live Vocational College, a special education college and training centre.
One of the interns said: “I work at the First Stop Shop in the centre of town…. My tasks include customer service, indexing and scanning. I really enjoyed working in the First Stop Shop because I’ve learnt lots of new things that I never learned before and I am becoming more confident at speaking to customers. In the future I would like to get myself a paid job working in the reception of a garage”.
Councillor Jonathan Taylor, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Transformation for Plymouth City Council, said: “Congratulations to all of the young people who took part in the Supported Internship Programme, we are very proud of them all and this is a great partnership between the Council and City College.”
Michelle Petrie, Supported Internships Tutor at the College, said: “The internships with Plymouth City Council included working in the library, kitchen assistant posts, grounds maintenance and administration. It has been a mutually beneficial project for both the students and the Council, and City College Plymouth looks forward to continuing with more internships this coming September for a different group of students.”
Find out more about support for people with special educational needs (SEND) here.