PALI is proud to announce their newly developed relationship with Wirral Met College’s department that offers students with additional needs work experience opportunities and Supported Internships.
The team at Wirral Met support a wide range of needs such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Moderate to Complex Learning Difficulties, Physical Difficulties, Blind/Partially Sighted, Deaf/Hard of Hearing amongst many others.
PALI has employed many apprentices over the years and we strongly believe in the value the apprenticeship scheme adds to our company. 99% of our apprentices go on to employment and some of our best employees have started out as apprentices. The company benefits from the fresh perspectives and new talent added to our workforce and the apprentices gain qualifications whilst being employed, so it really is win win.
Because of this, when we were approached by Wirral Met with the Supported Internship Initiative, we were firstly intrigued, then as soon as we learned more about what was involved, we knew we wanted to support this fantastic enterprise.
The work experience opportunity introduces students with additional needs to an industry they have an interest in, in our case an office environment, and allows them to be part of a real workforce. Once they have completed the work experience, they can then go on to enrol on the Supported Internship which enables students to study and gain qualifications alongside working in an actual job role. They are fully supported with a qualified, specialist tutor from Wirral Met and have access to specialist equipment or software, if needed.
The young gentleman PALI has recently taken on is on the Autism Spectrum and struggles with anxiety. Jack has several qualifications under his belt, is very bright and intelligent and was keen to gain experience working in an office. Jack is an absolute delight to work with and we are very proud of how well he is doing, especially as we understand how debilitating severe anxiety can be. We have always promoted a relaxed environment at Head Office and each and every member of our staff is friendly, approachable, helpful and compassionate which is why we knew this initiative would be a great fit for our organisation. We truly are benefiting from Jack’s contribution too; he is doing essential work and supporting the team. His mentor is by his side helping with any understanding issues or extra support he may need. The whole enrolment process was very quick and simple – no bureaucracy or tedious form filling.
We understand why some organisations would have reservations about supporting the programme, however we believe it is important to provide all students with the opportunity to flourish and not be put off by stereotypes. You could be turning away a future asset to your firm.
We are very excited to see how Jack progresses within PALI and hope he chooses to stay on for the internship. We believe this will be the start of a great collaboration with Wirral Met and look forward to welcoming more team members like Jack.
For more information on how your company can join the programme there are supported learning training organisations set up across the UK for which you can find details on the internet, and if you are based in the Merseyside area, you can contact Wirral Met on 0151 551 7651, email Suzanne.Reddock@wmc.ac.uk or visit https://www.wmc.ac.uk/employers/supported-internships for more information.