Today (27 March 2023) is National Supported Internship Day.
Supported internships are a great opportunity to improve the life chances of young people with SEND by supporting them into sustained, paid employment. Achieving paid employment not only brings young people financial independence, but it can be key to:
- Building confidence and self-esteem
- Increasing health and well-being
- Gaining friendships and a social life
- There are also benefits for the economy, employers, families, the local community and wider society
Harrogate Skills 4 Living Centre hosted a coffee morning today at their Harrogate Chocolate Café, next to the Odeon Cinema.
Hadyn Anthony Moorby-Davies, CEO, Harrogate Skills 4 Living Centre, said:
Today is the first supported internship day, and the stenght of internships is growing nationally.
Internship is an evidence-based way of helping people with disabilities get into work.
It’s great that awareness is increaseing, and in Harrogate, it helps us get the message out there and engage with employers that may be bit nervous about what it means to them.
If you are an employer, then we would ask people to just get in touch with myself, or any of the job coaches just to find out a little bit more about what a supported internship or a work placement entails.
Often we start very small with an employer, going own the route of full-on internship, a bit more involved at 16-hours a week with a young person. So they can talk to some of the other employers, and meet some of the students already involved.
Internships are part of Department of Works and Pensions, and the Government is looking to double the numbers in the UK over the next few years.
There is a big rise in the number of students that are interested in, and aspire towards getting into work. But the employment rate for people with learning disabilities and autism is currently only about 6%. There are a lot of barriers to overcome, one of them is to get the employers to appreciate the benefits of working with a more diverse range of employees.
What we find is that once we work through those barriers, they can see lots of beenfits in different ways, it maybe benefits around the customer experience or team building.
Loyalty is a big thing for our students, and once they are in the right job for them, then employees can get great beenfits, along with the broader team.
Customers generally see you as being a more open, compassionate, caring employer.