My Supported Internship "made me feel like I was a proper worker”

My Supported Internship "made me feel like I was a proper worker”

Billy Lane is one of our star Supported Internship success stories.

Billy joined us in September 2017 from Manor Academy, with additional learning needs, on our Employment Pathway course and then progressed on to the Supported Internship. Within four months of the Internship, he was able to follow his dream and find a job.

At Trafford College Group we believe in creating opportunities for every student, including learners who need extra help to study and enter the work place. Our Supported Internship programme based in a state-of-the-art classroom at Trafford Hospital offers students aged 16 to 24 the chance to do just that.

Situated in a supportive employment location, young people learn life skills as well as crucial work experience from our team of specialist lecturers, support staff and trained hospital mentors.

Billy started his work experience in the hospital stores where he was responsible for loading and sorting deliveries. Part-working, part-studying, his concentration and communication skills improved to such an extent he became confident at interacting with many different members of staff, visitors and patients. He even overcame an aversion to computers!

He said: “I can get distracted very easily, but working at the hospital makes you feel more mature. You’ve got to be professional. After a while, I was helping people by telling them where things were in the hospital. It made me feel like I was a proper worker.”

As well as practical learning, students are supported through alternative routes to traditional employment processes with more informal interviews with carefully selected employers thanks to our partnership with Pure Innovations.

Specialist staff support learners through the entire process, accompanying students during their first weeks on the job and maintaining close contact with College leavers throughout their employment.

Thanks to this specially designed employability course, Billy was able to secure a job for multinational firm, Sodexo, which has 35,000 workers in 2,000 locations across the UK and Ireland. He is responsible for keeping schools clean, which involves an eye for detail and the use of specialist machinery.

The 19-year-old from Timperley added: “I was so excited to get the job!

“I’d say to anyone in my position to try the Supported Internship course. I have seen other students come on a lot. The course makes a difference. It changes you.”

Billy progressed into paid employment so quickly, special arrangements were made for him to return to class one day each week to complete his City and Guilds Employability Skills Entry Level 3 at an accelerated level, which he received at the end of year ceremony at Trafford Hospital, our work base, on June 10th.

Tutor on the employment pathway course, Fiona Halyburton, said: “This programme offers people with additional needs the chance to live more independently to great success. We tailor all our teaching and learning experiences, including work placements, to the needs of each student to make it as mutually beneficial as possible.”

“Billy has been an outstanding member of our employment pathway course. He has been really receptive to opportunities to progress on the job, become an excellent communicator and adapted well to the challenges starting work presents.”

For more information about Supported Internships, please call 0161 886 7440 or email Fiona.halyburton@tcg.ac.uk or come to one of our Open Events at Altrincham Campus.