Supported Apprenticeships GO LIVE!!

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Supported Apprenticeships GO LIVE!! Interserve offer one of the country’s first Supported Apprenticeship places as part of a national DfE pilot. Less than 7% of young people with a learning disability will ever get a job and the work in this area hope to address this woeful prospect!

The Westminster School in close collaboration with Interserve Support Services have been forging an employment path for young people with learning disabilities.  Over the past year, they collaboratively developed a Supported Internship Programme as part of a pilot to identify roles where students who attend the school would be able to work.  Due to Interserve’s commitment to innovation and inclusion, they identified roles in Facilities Services throughout the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme throughout Sandwell. 

The two pupils who were successful, as part of the internship pilot in 2016/2017 have been offered a Supported Apprenticeship with Interserve as part of a national Department for Education (DfE) Pacesetter pilot.  Scott (19) who started as an Facilities Services Apprentice with Interserve Support Services on Monday (18 September 2017) said: “In year 7 I never thought anything like this would happen to me. I look forward to learning new skills and working with others. I am proud of what I have achieved. I would like to thank the school and Interserve for all their help.

 Recent changes to the English and Maths criteria for people with SEND have made it possible for applicants such as Scott to be accepted on an apprenticeship.

Patricia Murphy (Apprenticeship Manager for Interserve): “Interserve welcomes the new changes made by the DfE to amend the apprenticeship requirements for English and maths for people with a learning difficulty or disability.  This has allowed us to work in partnership with The Westminster School, Sandwell to offer a Facilities Services apprenticeship to two young people to join our team. The new changes will allow these young people the opportunity to develop key employment skills and experience and provide them with a solid foundation to start working life.”  

Oliver Flowers (Deputy Head Teacher): “It is fabulous news with regards to the adjustment of the English and Maths entry requirements for apprenticeships.  This will inevitably open many more doors for young people with a learning disability who are able to complement the world of work.  The school have a proven supported internship model where our young people have been able to demonstrate their keen ability to be successful in the world of work.  In the past, the barriers associated with the English and Maths entry requirements would have meant this wasn’t an option for them. Now many more young talented individuals such as Scott from The Westminster School will have a chance to better themselves through the world of work on an apprenticeship with private sector organisations such as Interserve. This will change many lives and provide rich opportunities for people with a learning disability.”

The school hopes to build on this pilot in order to provide more opportunities for young people with learning disabilities.  The pupils at The Westminster and many more around the country have proven to complement the world of work and be successful.