Providing opportunities for young people
Thursday, 10 January 2013
Hampshire County Council's Leader, Councillor Ken Thornber is pictured with four young people who have successfully completed the Council's Internship Plus scheme and one young person currently undertaking her internship.
The Internship Plus scheme provides work placement opportunities for young people in the care of the County Council and leaving care. The four who have completed the scheme undertook a range of internships including working for the County Council's Adult Services department at the Hampshire Integrated Community Equipment Services, working in its Trading Standards department and working as an Arts Centre assistant.
This year the Full Council agreed a proposal from Cllr Thornber to make permanent his pilot initiative offering young care leavers internships. The scheme not only provides opportunities for paid work placements within the County Council but also opportunities to access relevant qualifications. Fifteen young people are currently taking part in the scheme. Joining Cameron, Michaela, and Melissa who are all now in fulltime employment and Kirsty who is at college, for the photo is Stacy Burton who is currently on a placement at Havant day services.
Commenting Cllr Thornber said: "As corporate parents we were particularly keen that we help those people who need that extra support to succeed in the workplace, recognising that young care leavers face particular challenges that their peers do not. I am very pleased to celebrate with these young people, the successful completion of their internship. As one of the County's largest employers I think it is important we take a lead with initiatives like this which help young people take their first steps into employment."
One of those who completed the Internship is Michaela Blaylock who now works full-time for the County Council's trading standards department. Michaela, 21, said: "The scheme has really helped me build my confidence," she said. As part of her internship Michaela attended events around the county promoting the Council's Buy With Confidence scheme. "I really enjoyed working as part of a team, meeting different people and telling them about the service. I got to see what working life was like and what would be expected of me."
With the Internship Plus scheme Michaela was also encouraged to take NVQs and was delighted to add those to her National Diploma qualification in Public Services which she gained at college. "I achieved the best grades possible under the scheme and it really boosted my confidence and my belief in myself. Getting the job has also been a real boost. It is great to be working, to be earning my own money. I would definitely encourage other young people in care to get involved with the Internship Plus scheme."