Six neurodiverse young people have graduated from Manchester Airport’s Supported Internships program.
The program is run by Pure Innovations and Manchester College in partnership with Manchester Airport Group (MAG). The course runs for a year, during which interns are supported to do three different placements around the airport. It is intended to give young people who ordinarily might find it difficult to get employment the opportunity to get on-the-job training in a supported environment, with help on-hand during the placements and when applying for work at the end of it. The program has been running for eight years and has seen 72 young people graduate from it.
Lisa Griffiths, senior employment officer at Pure Innovations, said, “We’ve been working with Manchester Airport since 2015, delivering the supported internship for neurodiverse students with additional educational needs. The students get to learn real jobs, in and around the airport, while also learning employment skills in class sessions. Our students amaze us each year in their dedication and commitment to learning and development. Almost all the students go on to secure paid work and are an absolute credit to their employers.”
Joanna Jackson, education manager at Manchester Airport, said, “Inspiring the next generation is crucial to building a more diverse and equitable workplace, so it is fantastic to hear that the students on this year’s airport-supported internship have all done so well. Our commitment to providing skills and educational support and training is longstanding. We have supported thousands of young people and jobseekers across the length and breadth of our airport catchment areas into training and employment.”
On June 29, Callum Wyness (19), Hannah Fellowes (21), Sahad Nasir (20), Oliver Foy (24), Briony Conaghan (19) and Jakob Kosiorek (20), all celebrated graduating at the end of the scheme during a ceremony at Manchester Airport’s Aerozone education center. Several of the graduates will take jobs at the airport with others taking jobs at external companies or considering offers.
Nasir said, “When I first started, I was nervous, but now I’ve got a job at Amazon and I love it.”
Foy said, “When I first started the internship I was anxious, I didn’t know what it was about. But I shortly started to get the hang of it. I got paid job and I really enjoyed my time and met good friends and new colleagues and I’m really excited about the future.”
Kosiorek said, “Thank you for accepting me onto the internship, I’ve grown in confidence.”
Conaghan said, “Starting an internship was very scary and intimidating, but when you are around the right kind of people who support you, it becomes second nature.”
Wyness said, “I did two placements, both were good and hopefully I’m going to get a paid job.”
Fellowes said, “I already have had a job but got a different experience. I settled in really well and made new friends.”
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