Supporting adults with special educational needs into work

Buckinghamshire Adult Learning is now offering Supported Internships to young adults with special educational needs to help them gain sustainable employment.

In partnership with Stony Dean School, Amersham, the programme is aimed at young people aged 18-24 who have an Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan.

The current programme is based at the De Vere Latimer Estate Hotel and started in September 2018. The interns are given personalised learning goals and varied work experience opportunities provided by the hotel.

Recruitment has now started for another five interns at the hotel and 10 interns to study on another programme to be run at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury from September 2019.

The interns will complete a BTEC Level 1 Work Skills programme, have the opportunity to study Maths and English functional skills at an appropriate level, receive ongoing Special Educational Needs support and complete work experience in the workplace. The programme will be supported by on-site tutors and a full-time job coach during the year. The interns will also be supported in their first year of work by a job coach from “Building Futures” at Adviza.

Catriona Vernel, Director of Human Resources at De Vere Latimer Estate said, “The transformation of the interns has been incredible to watch. As we come to the latter end of the programme, the interns have firmly found their feet in the work place. Each has been allocated to a department in the hotel and they all wear the De Vere uniform having achieved the right to move from trainees to fully fledged team members.”

David Howe, Head of Recruitment & Voluntary Services at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust said, “We are committed to attracting new talent from our local community. The Trust is one of the largest employers in the county and we pride ourselves on offering great career choices to motivated individuals who want to work for their local NHS healthcare provider.

“We are really looking forward to our partnership with Buckinghamshire County Council and Stony Dean School to trial a supported internship scheme. Our aim is to provide the students with experience of employment and widen their awareness of the many career opportunities within the NHS.”

Mike Appleyard, Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet Member forEducation&Skillscommented: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Stony Dean School and some of our local employers to be able to offer opportunities such as these to young people with special educational needs.

“It is important that we give our young people every opportunity to grow and develop the key skills to help them achieve fulfilling lives in the future.”