MP sees innovative Loughborough College Supported Internships in action

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Nicky Morgan has been getting a glimpse of Loughborough College’s innovative Bridge to Work Supported Internships in action.

The Loughborough MP visited student Jak Bancroft at his town centre workplace where his employers have been so impressed with him during training, they have offered him a job.

Fellow College student and Supported Intern Megan Langham recently won a Pride of Charnwood Award for her work at a local care home.

The Supported Internship programme at Loughborough College is a course for young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities which aims to bridge the gap from education into employment.

After two years on a Foundation Learning course at the College Jak, 23, began the Supported Internship at McDonald’s in Loughborough in October last year.

“Jak agreed to do the Internship as he was ready to make the transition into work but due to his learning difficulties, he found it hard to pursue a job by himself,” said Amanda Hearne, Lead Job Coach for Bridge to Work at Loughborough College.

“The job coaching, which is part of the Internship, helped Jak to overcome initial barriers at work such as meeting new people, learning new tasks and getting used to the demands of a very physical job role.

“Jak has done immensely well on his Internship. In fact Andy Rhodes, who is Director of Rhodes Ebbs Restaurants and is franchisee for McDonald's in Loughborough, tells me Jak’s managers are so pleased with him that they have agreed to offer him a paid role after he finishes his course in June.”

Nicky Morgan MP said: "As a long-term supporter of Bridge to Work and their Supported Internships, it was great to see Loughborough College student Jak working at McDonald's.

“Jak's manager told me how he had grown in confidence and was a real part of their team. Jak spoke with great enthusiasm about his experience at the store and his plans to become an apprentice.

“The Supported Internship scheme has clearly been very positive for Jak, which is brilliant."

The Internships are open to 16-24 year olds with SEND who have an Education, Health and Care Plan and combine academic study (Maths, English and Employability Skills) with a long-term work placement. Support is in place at all times by fully trained Job Coaches and the aim is for the young person to make the transition from education into paid work.

The Supported Internships are growing in success and are set to become a Loughborough College curriculum course from September this year.

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Pictured (left to right): Loughborough College’s Amanda Hearne and Jak Bancroft, Nicky Morgan MP and Andy Rhodes at McDonald’s in Loughborough

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