Supported Internship student obtains paid employment for the first time

A student at Eastleigh College, part of South Hampshire College Group, has overcome challenging learning difficulties to procure paid work through a Supported Internship Programme. 

Alfie Cole is 20 years old and first joined Eastleigh College at the age of 17 in 2020, aiming to develop his personal and professional skills to the point where he could successfully work. Alfie spent one day a week at college honing his English and maths skills, alongside specialist training for interviews and application writing. During the remainder of the week, he worked in the storage department at Winchester Hospital and became a trusted and well-loved member of the team. In his second year, he also had the opportunity to live away from home for three days a week through the Internship programme, where he learnt various life skills such as cooking, washing and cleaning. Earlier this Spring, Alfie was offered paid work for the first time as an assistant at Novotel, a four-star hotel in Southampton. Despite having been there only a month, he is already making a strong impact, as can be seen by the below review on Trip Advisor: 

“At breakfast, we were especially impressed with the staff members Alfie and Veronika. Both were friendly, kind, attentive and polite. Thank you both for a great stay and a pleasant start to the day.” 

Alfie Cole commented: “The Supported Internship has made me feel more comfortable and confident in my everyday work, and I’ve learnt many different interview techniques. At my old work, I would stand around and wait for instructions, but now I feel more able to take the initiative and pursue tasks that need to be done. My favourite part of my new job is chatting with customers and socialising with colleagues.” 

The Supported Learning Internship is a one-year programme for learners with moderate learning difficulties who are seeking paid employment in the workplace. Most time on the course is spent on a temporary unpaid work placement, in combination with a support day at the College, in which students will undergo training in English and Maths where necessary, as well as specific career skills such as CV workshops and interview training. Students will also have regular tutorials with a job coach who will help them design a reliable vocational profile. 

Alfie’s mother commented: “One of the biggest worries for parents of disabled children is how they’ll manage in the future. The positive change he’s undergone during this programme is overwhelming, he is so much more independent now – he can go to town by himself and get public transport by himself too. We are so grateful for this programme, we don’t know what we would have done without it.” 

Lorna Cantwell, Alfie’s tutor and Job Coach at Eastleigh College, said: “Myself and everyone involved are extremely proud of Alfie and commend his motivation, dedication and progression into the world of work. We wish him the very best of luck with his journey at Novotel and his future in store for him.” 

For any further information, please contact South Hampshire College Group at info@shcg.ac.uk.  

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Supported Internship student obtains paid employment for the first time

A student at Eastleigh College, part of South Hampshire College Group, has overcome challenging learning difficulties to procure paid work through a Supported Internship Programme.  Alfie Cole is 20 years old and first joined Eastleigh...

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