“Work Insight” is a training ground launched by Hull City Council and The Careers and Enterprise Company to get more young people into work, regardless of their backgrounds and needs.
The project is said to differ from the normal work experience as it is tailored to fit both the business and the needs of the young person, so that both sides get a positive experience.
Work Insight co-ordinator, Jo Clappison, said: “The aim of the project is to help and support young people with additional needs, around Hull and the East Riding to gain a real insight into the world of work.
“Quite often this cohort of young people are overlooked for a number of reasons, but our aim is to get each and every young person a Work Insight opportunity, to show businesses the abilities, not the disabilities, these young people have. IT gives them a chance to be independent as they make their way to and from work.
“It’s great for the businesses too, as it gives them and their staff knowledge on how to deal with these needs, particularly if they have customers or clients who have similar needs. It’s work training for them too, in that respect.
“If a pupil needs additional needs such as a carer, they are able to take one with them too.
“We’ve had some big businesses on board too which is great, but it would be amazing if others would like to get involved too.”
One of those in the Work Insight programme is James Jagger, a 16-year-old from South Holderness school who is on the autistic spectrum.
A pupil who is enamoured by the world of toys and entertainment, James is undergoing a work placement scheme with family-run toy shop, The Entertainer, at St Stephens’ Shopping Centre, which Jo says is going “extremely well.”
She said: “He’s confident in his role and toys are his passion so he knows everything there is to know about them. He’s even volunteered to do some demonstrations and read the manual front to back before going. Graham, the manager, has been amazing too and everyone seems to be really enjoying it.”
James said: “It’s been great, it’s a great toy shop. It’s great what you can contribute to a company when you’re doing something right.”
Mike Pearson, from South Holderness School said: “It’s been a really beneficial experience for James. It’s a good opportunity to experience work at a pace that suits him.
“He can tell you everything you need to know about Thomas the Tank Engine and Lego. It’s been really really positive.”
Young people taking part in the programme are given a journal to complete before and after their placements, which they undertake around once a week for a term.
In their journal, they are able to write their feelings before they start their placements, outline their day and their is even a chance for employers to provide a reference once the placement is over.
If you and your business want to get involved you can contact Kerrie Jaquest on: 01482 615205 or 0791969449.
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.