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Employers back programme helping students with disabilities into work

The Supported Internships programme, set up by the Department of Education and first trialled at Milton Keynes College in 2015/16, is expected to obtain a 100% success rate this year, with many of the college’s 2016/17 learners gaining permanent employment or voluntary jobs and skills progression that could lead to their future careers.

Leading brands including Tesco, Bosch, Holiday Inn and Currys PC World are among those supporting Milton Keynes College to create life-changing opportunities for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities.

Personal tutor Pippa Bruckland, the college’s lead job coach for supported internships, said: “So far this year we have placed four of our students in permanent employment and are expecting the remaining contracts to be signed any day now.

"We have been overwhelmed by the success of the programme and have had fantastic feedback from learners and employers alike.”

One student, Michael pictured, has just been offered permanent employment with Holiday Inn Milton Keynes.  The well-known hotel brand is delighted and has requested more Supported Interns for September.

General manager Darren Hayward said: “We are delighted to be associated with MK College and the Supported Internships programme.

"Finding team members who have a passion for what they do can be a challenge and the Supported Internships introduced us to young adults who have the passion and drive but simply need a leg up at the start. 

“We are very excited as a hotel, a management company and an industry about the potential the Supported Internships brings to us for employing team members with a natural passion and enthusiasm for hospitality. 

“The dedication and commitment from professional personal tutors like Pippa offers the students the assistance needed to get it right at the start of the employment process and cross the hurdles that may otherwise prevent success.”

Supported Internships offer a stepping stone, with a safety net, to a young person’s future, while at the same time educating and familiarising employers with the benefits of employing people with learning difficulties and disabilities.

Pippa Bruckland said: “The college is working closely with employers to support future generations of SEND students into work  and close the gap between disabled and non-disabled people in permanent employment.

“With positive results for the programme so far, I hope that more employers will embrace the Supported Internships scheme, so that more SEND children and their parents/carers can rely on a system that will provide increased opportunities to a fulfilling future career.”

http://www.mkcollege.ac.uk/subjects-we-offer/inclusive-learning, email Inclusive.learning@mkcollege.ac.uk or telephone 01908 684141.  

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