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Work experience that builds equipment and beyond

Published on Thursday, 23 May 2024

Work experience that builds equipment and beyond

Young people with additional needs are gaining work experience across the council through Supported Internships. This structured programme aims to equip young people aged 16-24 with Education, Health and Care plans (EHCP) with the skills they need to secure paid work through learning in the workplace and classroom-based training.  


Nathan is one of the interns who have been gaining work experience at a storage unit with the adult social care directorate. A dedicated skills coach from Mencap has been supporting Nathan and the team throughout the process. The placement has given him valuable work experience that includes building equipment for residents who need it to make their day-to-day lives easier.  


Nathan said: “Unlike my previous work experience, this placement really feels like a proper job. I was quite shy at first, but I have become more confident as the team have been very supportive. They let me get on with things and if I struggle with something, I know that I can always ask them for help. It feels really nice to have their trust and support.” 


Andy Cartwright and Will Konadu work closely with the interns. Andy shared: “We get really busy sometimes, so it is great having them as extra support. It is great to see that they are coming out of their shells and learning valuable skills for their future careers.” 


Nathan added: “I feel more ready and confident for work now. This placement will make my CV more impressive, which will hopefully help me find a similar job in the future.” 


Gary Devlin, Solihull Council’s Community Equipment Services Manager, offered placements to the interns. He said: “This programme has helped us to support more residents. As the inventory builds up, the interns have been a great help for us. I remember one day when both Andy and Will weren’t around, the interns ran the place just like any other day. It proves how their skills have developed.” 


Supported internships commence every September. If you would like to refer a young person who might be interested in becoming a supported intern, please contact John O’Sullivan with john.osullivan@solihull.gov.uk. 

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