Shipley College's success partnering with local businesses

Written by Preparing for AdulthoodDate 31 Jul 2014

Shipley College delivers supported internships in close partnership with local businesses. 

Luke, a young person on a supported internship with Shipley College, was placed with the Midland Hotel, Bradford, working to Gary Peacock, General Manager. 

As the parent of a disabled child, Gary was motivated by a desire to be fully inclusive as an employer:

I was made aware of the project, the calibre of student and their skills and requirements within the internship. I then looked at potential gaps within the business that could offer opportunities for the project and its students. I identified two different roles that would encompass tasks not currently covered satisfactorily by existing members of staff. 

The job roles were created as a result of the initial discussions into the abilities of individual students. We effectively carved out a role for our intern, Luke, based on his skills and the work that needed doing. Luke is based in the office creating and maintaining an additional database. His abilities and focus made his work an integral part of our sales function.

For Luke, being part of a supported internship programme was an opportunity to test out the skills he had learned as a student at Shipley College. At the Midland Hotel, Luke was given the role of Sales and Marketing Assistant, which involved researching leads and entering details onto a database, updating customer details on the hotel's system, as well as ensuring marketing materials were replenished on a regular basis.

Delighted at the chance to undertake a paid job in a private company, Luke loves to work; "I don't know why people don't like Mondays. I love working at the Midland Hotel and love Mondays! I have responsibility for recycling and keeping the work area clean and tidy. I prepare marketing material ready for posting to customers and email potential customers or existing clients. I process credit card payments and send receipts to the customer. With my first wage, I was able to help my mum pay the bills and I bought a Bradford City Flexi-Card." 

As a result of Shipley College's supported internship programme, Gary was able to access funding from the City Centre Growth Fund (part of the Regional Growth Fund) and has recruited Luke on a permanent basis, working 2 days a week. In the words of his employer, "Luke has been accepted and has become part of the team. His success is wholly down to the way he has learnt to develop and adapt to his circumstances."