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Supported Internships for SEND students launch event a success

A scheme to help get more young people with special educational needs into employment has been launched.

The Supported Internship Programme was officially launched at City of Oxford College last night.

It is designed to support young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) by getting them into work, and to provide further opportunities for learning.

John Harrington, Deputy Manager, Oxfordshire Employment Service commented: “We instigated this project because we believe there is a gap in the provision. Previous work to help young people with special educational needs and disabilities wasn’t very successful. The internship model had been launched in other areas with much success. Where large employers such as Lego and Glaxo-Smith had been involved with local providers, up to 80% of young people participating were successful in securing employment.

Five students from City of Oxford College have been selected to participate in the pilot scheme which is being launched across several other colleges including Banbury and Bicester College, part of the Activate Learning group.

Oxfordshire County Council then plan to expand the supported internships and increase the student intake in 2016.

Melanie Christianson, Work Experience Coordinator for Foundation Studies at City of Oxford College, said: “The statistics are clear: 65% of people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) said they would like to be in work, but only 7% are actually working.

“Supported internships are a great way to help young people get the experience and skills they need to get a paid job, help them develop their independence, make friends and increase their emotional wellbeing.”

To find out more about Supported Internships please read the information flyer