Young people graduate from supported internship
17 local Hackney residents have overcome the unprecedented challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic to graduate from this year’s supported internship scheme with Hackney Council and Homerton Hospital – a programme to support young people with Learning Disabilities and Autism into work.
The interns, who despite the limitations of working from home since March completed their classroom learning online in interactive classes, were joined by their parents, mentors, colleagues, Cllr Carole Williams and Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville in an online Graduation Ceremony.
During their placements interns have developed valuable skills of how to work remotely both individually and as part of a team and have all successfully completed their BTEC Work Skills Qualification.
With the support and dedication to continue the programme from their job coaches, tutors and mentors, graduating interns are now well-equipped with the tools to progress into paid employment.
Cabinet member for Employment, Skills and Human Resources, Cllr Carole Williams said: “This is the first year that we have run the programme at the Council and the second year at Homerton Hospital. I am incredibly proud that, despite the current health crisis, over 25 interns have now successfully benefited from and completed the programme.
Supported internships are an important part of the Council’s commitment to tackling inequality, as we recognise that employment and access to good quality jobs is key to tackling growing inequality in the borough.
It took a great deal of dedication from the interns to continue the programme online and, despite lockdown, they were able to build their relationships with one another as well as with their tutors.
During the ceremony the interns spoke about their experiences and how the programme has readied them for full time paid employment.
Adam Hollingworth, 21 who worked in the Communications and Consultation team said: “I’m very grateful to my mentors and my fellow interns for all the support they have given. I have loved this opportunity and feel ready for the working world.”
Reflecting on his time as a Supported Intern, Soner Atma, 23 who worked in the Organisational Development team said: “My confidence has built up. I’ve used databases and worked in the busy election team. I never thought I would be able to do that.”
Speaking at the ceremony Jenny Mbombo, parent of intern Reece Bendela said: “I would like to thank all of the staff involved in making this programme so great. Reece has learnt valuable life lessons, and skills for life and I’m so grateful to the team for their hard work and dedication.”
The programme supports young adults between 16 and 25, with an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan) who have a learning disability or autism, providing an academic course, running alongside three work based placements either at Hackney Council or Homerton Hospital.
Applications are now open for the 20/21 programme, which is open to both in and out of borough applicants.