A MENTAL health trust in Greater Manchester has joined a supported internship scheme to help young people with learning disabilities, better access a range of services.

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) are working with Pure Innovations as a partner on their Greater Manchester Supported Internship programme, to provide a variety of work placements.

The Supported Internship programme is a collaboration between supported employment specialist, Pure Innovations, and a range of partners which either act as ‘Host Employer’ or ‘Educational Provider’.

The Bolton News: Interns Aliya, Joshua and BenInterns Aliya, Joshua and Ben

Natalie Irvine, Senior Employment Officer at Pure Innovations said: “It is absolutely vital that we are offering equal opportunities to all young people in our communities.

“People with learning disabilities have the skills, drive and passion to succeed in a variety of roles, just like their peers.

“Through the supported internship scheme, we match individuals with roles that are right for them, and make sure that any extra support for both the individual and the employer is put in place.

“It is amazing to watch them go from strength to strength, gaining valuable experience, skills and confidence, whilst adding great value to the workplace.”

The Bolton News: Joshua (middle), with colleagues Eric & Chris, Driver & Transport SupervisorsJoshua (middle), with colleagues Eric & Chris, Driver & Transport Supervisors

Through the scheme, individuals are offered opportunities to gain practical work experience in a variety of different roles at their Host Employer, whilst studying for an accredited qualification through the Education Provider in subjects such as employability skills and customer service.

Individuals are offered up to three different placements over one academic year, to make sure they gain a wide-ranging set of skills and experience, which could lead to permanent employment.

Throughout the process, they are provided with expert support from the supported employment specialist’s job coaches, and employment officers, to make sure they settle in and progress well.

So far, six interns have been placed into roles within their facilities department in areas such as catering, administration, transport and logistics, and domestic services; and one has been offered a permanent position.