In­tern­ship places avail­able at coun­cil

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By PETE BAIN­BRIDGE pete.bain­bridge@men-news.co.uk @pbain­bridgeMEN

SAL­FORD coun­cil are of­fer­ing 10 ‘sup­ported in­tern­ships’ in their of­fices for 16-24 year olds with spe­cial ed­u­ca­tional needs (SEN).

Coun­cil­lors signed off on a joint project with the Univer­sity of Sal­ford – worth just over £50,000 – that will see the young­sters spend time in both in­sti­tu­tions to gain work ex­pe­ri­ence and job skills.

It would func­tion as an ‘ex­tended work­ing in­ter­view,’ ac­cord­ing to a report that went be­fore the coun­cil’s pro­cure­ment board on Wed­nes­day.

Only 15 young peo­ple from the city are tak­ing part in sup­ported in­tern­ships, ac­cord­ing to the doc­u­ment, even though the ma­jor­ity of young peo­ple with SEN are ‘ca­pa­ble of sus­tain­ing paid em­ploy­ment with the right prepa­ra­tion and sup­port.’ And only 2.3 per­cent of Sal­ford’s adults with learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties are in paid em­ploy­ment, com­pared to 6.7pc na­tion­ally.

To sup­port more young peo­ple with spe­cial ed­u­ca­tional needs and dis­abil­i­ties (SEND) to ac­cess ‘mean­ing­ful em­ploy­ment’ in the fu­ture, the De­part­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion has al­lo­cated ev­ery lo­cal au­thor­ity a SEND prepa­ra­tion for em­ploy­ment grant, ac­cord­ing to a report that went be­fore coun­cil­lors.

It’s that cash that will go to­wards fund­ing Sal­ford’s scheme, which will be based on an­other project at Sal­ford’s Royal Hos­pi­tal.

Un­der that pro­gramme, 32 of the 50 par­tic­i­pants gained em­ploy­ment. Eleven are do­ing vol­un­tary work, two re­turned to ed­u­ca­tion and five were ‘sign­posted to other ser­vices.’

Coun­cil­lor John Merry said that the project was ‘re­ally pos­i­tive,’ ref­er­enc­ing the high re­ten­tion rate.

Ac­cord­ing to a report pre­pared by Rem­ploy and Men­cap, sup­ported in­tern­ships are per­son­alised study pro­grammes based pri­mar­ily at an em­ployer’s premises.

They are de­signed to ‘bet­ter en­able young peo­ple with learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties to achieve sus­tain­able paid em­ploy­ment by equip­ping them with the skills they need.

The report which went be­fore the coun­cil­lors said that the scheme could help to ‘di­ver­sify’ the work­place, give younger staff mem­bers the op­por­tu­nity to act as a pro­fes­sional men­tor, and give lo­cal peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties a chance to show­case their tal­ents.

Learn­ers en­rolled on the pro­gramme will be­come stu­dents of Sal­ford City Col­lege and be af­fil­i­ated to the Col­lege’s Ec­cles Sixth Form Cen­tre.

Coun­cil­lor John Merry

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