From education to employment

Supported internships to offer work skills for SEND students

Seven young people with learning difficulties will be starting supported internships with Plymouth City Council as part of a trial project with City College Plymouth.

Part of the Government’s SEND (special education needs and disabilities) agenda, the programme will see the young people who have conditions such as autism, communication skills and social interaction skills take on a year’s placement with the Council. The interns will spend one day a week in College and then two days gaining work skills in areas as diverse as parking and street services, crematoriums, school meals and libraries.

Julie Mclean MBE, Director of Work-based Learning & Schools Partnerships at the College, said: “Projects like this are vital to breaking down barriers and prejudices against people with learning needs and disabilities in the workplace. Not only will this programme give these young people the skills they need to become successful employees, but they’ll also get a great confidence boost enabling them to progress to a new job or Apprenticeship.

“We hope to expand the project after this trial year so that even more young people with SEND can get these crucial work skills and take their next steps to sustainable employment.”

Councillor Jon Taylor, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Transformation in Plymouth, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to encourage students with SEND so they can work towards a permanent job and create a career for themselves.

“It’s important for all students to feel confident enough to apply for a job and young people with SEND struggle more than others to develop the key skills needed for a work environment.

“We’re really excited to see how this progresses. Projects like this are really important. It not only boosts their confidence, but encourages students to aim high. It can also help employers who are keen to improve opportunities for staff.”

The interns will formally start their placements in September and City College Plymouth will be sharing updates on their progress throughout the year.

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