In partnership with Gloucestershire College and Premier Inn, we developed a Supported Internship Programme to improve the employability skills and work experience of young people with a learning disability between the ages of 16-24 years. The programme is full-time for one year, with young people gaining a mixture of hands-on practical work experience and classroom-based employability skills.
We worked with seven Premier Inn hotel sites during the first year of the internship and their commitment helped make the programme a resounding success. Our Job Coaches are embedded in each hotel to help interns learn skills and also to provide assistance to Premier Inn staff on how they can help the interns develop their skills and work ethic. At the end of the programme, the Job Coaches support the interns to find permanent employment, either with Premier Inn or wider employers.
The Gloucestershire programme received a stamp of approval from a joint inspection by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission which described it as ‘highly effective’. The inspection letter said “The ‘supported internship’ pilot resulted in a marked increase in young people who have special educational needs and/or disabilities finding paid employment in their local community.”