Published: 12 April 2022
Westminster City Council is hosting an open day on the 21st April to promote this year’s Supported Internship Programme.
The scheme is a work-based learning initiative for young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).
Applications for the programme will close in late spring/early summer, with 12 successful candidates starting in September.
The open day will be a chance to share how the Supported Internship works, outline the structure of the course and highlight the role of partners: Westminster City Council, City of Westminster College and the Job Coaching team.
There will also be a chance to hear from current interns and graduates on their experiences as well as a short tour of Westminster City Hall and potential internal placements.
Supported Internships are a full-time work-based education programme delivered over one year.
Four days a week are spent in the workplace and one day is classroom based in City Hall studying Employability, Life Skills, English and Maths.
Each intern’s work placements are centred around their skills and career interests.
After a successful launch of the pilot scheme in 2021, the council are continuing to host the programme this year.
Last year, fifteen young people with an Educational and Health Care Plan (EHCP) had the opportunity to complete three different work rotations with services within the council and partners in the private sector.
The aim is for graduates to gain paid employment after completion and the team achieved an 89% paid outcome success rate for work-ready graduates.
Many graduates from the programme have been successful in gaining paid employment.
For example, Ahmed is now in a full-time role at Veolia, the council’s waste management provider:
Now that I have started work, I feel very proud of how far I came to earn myself a living. Working with Veolia enabled me to learn new skills, such as Data Mapping. I am currently working on a monthly newsletter project consisting of company highlights, information, Covid safety updates and even compliments from our customers.
I find it all very important because it allows me the opportunity to support Westminster further and create a more environmentally friendly city. I enjoy participating in new projects and I find a keen interest in all the graphical design aspects of my new role.
Westminster Supported Internship Job Coach, Karol Chojnowski is passionate about the programme and how it benefits those participating:
The feedback we gain from our students and the enhanced confidence we see in them are the reasons why we are passionate about continuing to offer this life-changing initiative.
Sarah Newman, Bi-Borough Executive Director of Children’s Services for City of Westminster and Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea said:
As a local authority, we are committed to continually improving the support and opportunity in the borough for all young people. This is particularly important for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
Our aspiration is that our young people with SEND have access to opportunities which enable them to go onto lead a fulfilling life as they prepare for adulthood.”