Newham College’s Supported Internships Gain International Interest

The Head of School for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) at Newham College, Jean Cole delivered a presentation to a group of South Korean representatives from the Hyundai Motor Company.

Newham Council and Newham Workplace invited Jean to discuss the ways in which the college recruits interns for the programme. Students who participate, apply for work and experience practical aspects of employment with large employers, including John Lewis/Waitrose, London Borough of Newham, Asda, Newham Hospital and Greater Anglia. Newham Workplace partners with the college to ensure that interns learn valuable skills at each employer’s premises.

Staff from Newham Workplace and Newham Council both attended the presentation. The group then visited John Lewis at Westfield Stratford City and met 3 students who are completing supported internships there. Staff from John Lewis spoke about the benefits of internships and explained that 5 of their colleagues, who are now employed full time, started out as interns in 2018.

Jean says:

“The representatives from Hyundai were very interested in the partnership between Newham Council, Newham Workplace and Newham College. They’re going to discuss the merits of supported internships with their Local Government Minister in South Korea.

I explained that our internships are work-based learning programmes for students with learning and/or physical disabilities. They’re designed to develop transferable skills, knowledge and attitudes in readiness for paid employment. We’ve achieved a positive track record of success in enabling young people with learning disabilities to gain work.

We also hold a Forum inviting the employers, interns, parents, teachers, job coaches, Department for Works and Pensions representatives and Specialist Schools, to hear the interns talk about their experiences and the confidence they have gained

It’s wonderful that these results have generated international interest. I look forward to offering even greater numbers of SEND students with opportunities to develop skills for employment with large companies and organisations.”


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