Home Children and Young People Jake’s Supported Internship journey goes full circle

Jake’s Supported Internship journey goes full circle

by Jonathan Kearney

A Knowsley CCTV Operative who joined the Council’s Supported Internship Programme in 2016 will be taking on the role as mentor in September.

Supported Internships are a structured, work-based study programme for 16 – 24-year-olds with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

After impressing during his Supported Internship Programme Jake Johnson secured a permanent paid role within the Council’s CCTV control room team in 2017.

Jake, who is from Kirkby, said: “I’m looking forward to starting mentoring as part of the Supported Internship Programme in September. I have always enjoyed speaking to pupils and discussing what my role involves. Since my time as an intern I have had a lot of support from Knowsley Community College tutors and mentors and colleagues from Knowsley Council. I hope I can now support others the way I have been supported in my role.”

Jake’s manager Steve Donnelly, Security and School Crossing Service Manager at Knowsley Council, said: “Jake’s journey with us has been immense since he embarked on the Supported Internship Programme seven years ago. He always had the technical skills and impeccable manners. He just lacked confidence. Since that time he’s been on Radio Merseyside to talk about his journey, he’s spoke at conferences attended by hundreds of people and he’s won an award for his work. It has been life changing for him.”

Jake and Steve recently attended the North West Special Education Needs and/or Disabilities Transition Conference in Blackpool to present Jake’s journey in the Council. Jake spoke with confidence about his journey and informed the audience that his job has also made him healthier, allowed him to make new friends, and made him more independent in his home environment.

In July Jake, who now supports the Council’s ‘Meet the Employer’ programme, was recognised by the High Sheriff of Merseyside for his achievements.

Jake has also helped to deliver training sessions about learning disabilities and difficulties to local businesses, encouraging organisations to support someone with special educational needs and difficulties in their workplace.

He features in a film where employees talk about their roles which is shown to pupils with SEND to raise aspirations around employment and the benefits of having a job. After watching Jake’s film, groups of pupils have visited him and the CCTV team to see first-hand the work Jake does and ask him about his job and employment journey.

SueTemple-Fielding, Preparing for Adulthood Employment Support Officer at Knowsley Council, said: “Jake is a pleasure to work with. He supports me in my role delivering business talks and hosting business visits as part of the Meet the Employee programme for students in our SEND schools and colleges.  He’s a real inspiration to the young people. They really associate with Jake because he’s got the practical experience that he can share with them. He’s always ready to help.

Discussing Jake’s development, Sue added: “His confidence and communication skills have developed the most since he’s been with the Council. Now he’s going to be mentoring interns himself,  his journey has gone full circle.”

If your business can help raise aspirations for Knowsley residents with SEND email info.supportedemployment@knowsley.gov.uk

Further information Knowsley’s Supported Internship Programme and be found here.