Three learners from Myerscough College's Merseyside campus at Croxteth Park have completed a programme aimed at helping young people who need extra help to move into employment.
Myerscough has been working in partnership with Glendale Liverpool to deliver the Liverpool City Council Supported Internship Programme. Supported Internships are aimed at young people who want to move into employment and are intended to enable the young person to become ‘job ready’. This is done to try and break down the barriers between young people with learning difficulties and a potential employer.
The three Myerscough College Liverpool supported interns attended a placement with Glendale Liverpool four days per week and College one day a week, to brush up on their english and maths skills. The busy schedule is aimed at getting the group used to the routine that is expected when being in employment.
The learners - Daniel Jones, John Robinson and Shaun Woods - have been supported by a work coach who helps them get used to the routine expected when in employment, instructing and supporting them to build skills in the workplace to complete work tasks to a high level.
Supported Internships normally last for one year and they include a work placement such as this. Students also complete a personalised Study Programme working towards a qualification.
Helen Eaton, Assistant Principal Liverpool at Myerscough College, said: ''At the end of this programme the interns stand a real chance of gaining employment.
''Their employability skills are significantly enhanced from when they started. Their work colleagues and supervisors have also had the opportunity to experience the value first hand of employing a young person with a learning difficulty or disability.
''A vital part of the programme is about removing misconceptions regarding young people with learning difficulties with employers. Many in the workplace are surprised what a positive contribution these young people make.
''The Supported Internship programme provides the opportunity for Myerscough College to work with both young people and their supervisors.
''It’s about creating work-ready young people and removing any barriers that may be present in the workplace that could stop the employer from taking on a young person with learning difficulties. I’m so proud of the progress that’s being made.''
Just six percent of young people with learning disabilities are in employment, and the aim of the scheme is to help them transition from education in to the world of work, so they can live more independently and don’t become socially isolated.
Councillor Barbara Murray, Cabinet member for education at Liverpool City Council, said: ''This scheme is about working closely with young people, schools and employers to provide customised support into the world of work and give them the opportunity to compete for jobs and thereby fulfil their fullest potential.
''This scheme has been such a success and will be expanded next year to involve more businesses and more opportunities for our young people.
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by Dave Salmon