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Internship programme for local people with disabilities hailed a success

by Laura Johnston

The programme offered a year’s work placement with the aim of helping them to secure future employment.

The internship, which commenced in September 2016, is now nearing completion and nine of the interns have secured a 12 month contract with the Council and other local employers whilst the other two are being supported into other training and employment opportunities.

The 2016 intake has been working across various council teams such as security, business support and catering. They have been given continuous support with their placement and have been assigned a job coach through the Council’s 14-19 team.

Due to the success of the programme, recruitment for a further intake in 2017 has already commenced.

Cllr Joan Lilly, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said “I’m delighted with the progress our interns have made in such a short space of time.  Their placements have given them the opportunity to gain invaluable life and work skills which has helped them to secure employment.  Feedback from the interns, parents and Council staff has been extremely positive and that’s why the programme is continuing with recruitment already commencing for the 2017 intake.  Well done to everyone involved.”

Anthony Cunningham added “I have really enjoyed working for the Council and I can’t wait to get into work.  I’ve been working in transport at Stretton Way and the skills I have developed over the year have included time management, communication, team work and information technology as well as increasing my confidence and social skills.  I really appreciate the opportunity I’ve been given to not only improve my skills, but to secure employment too!”