Intern scheme helping young people flourish

We’re helping young people with disabilities needs gain invaluable work experience − and it’s leading to some landing full-time jobs with the force. 

Five students from Hereward College, Coventry, have joined us as interns under the Supported Internship Programme.

The students − aged 18 to 20 − have been posted to departments including Corporate Communications, Professional Standards and Public Protection. 

And one is working alongside officers and staff involved in preparations for the Coventry UK City of Culture 2021.

Interns (L-R) Patrick Steane and Theo Bellis

The programme − which also sees interns studying towards a City & Guilds qualification − aims to prepare young people with the skills and confidence they need for future employment.

And it’s working!

We first got involved with Supported Internship last year and both young people went on to shine and are now holding down full-time jobs with us. 

Our Resourcing Manager Jayne McCracken, said: “We’re really excited to be involved again and have expanded the number of interns after the success of last year.

“The initiative aims to give interns, who may have anxiety and for whom meeting new people or being in unfamiliar settings can be stressful, the experience, skills and confidence to flourish.

“But make no mistake, these are very talented young people. We’ve placed them in departments suited to their strengths and abilities and where they can make a positive contribution."

Paul Oldfield from Hereward College, added: “The Supported Internship is a programme designed to support young people who traditionally struggle to access employment.

“I’ve worked on other Internships but the partnership with WMP is great. The experience my Interns have is incredibly positive and they are made to feel like an integral part of the teams they work in."

One of our interns is 20-year-old Thomas Dall, who also works part-time as a leisure centre lifeguard. He’s now working alongside the City of Culture team.

He said: “The reason why I wanted to do this was because I want to get the experience in working with a public service and to care about the people they serve. Hopefully in some time in the future, to become a police officer." 

Maths and physics student Joe Dorman (19) has been placed with our Professional Standards Department.

He said: “I can find it difficult to interact with people and I struggle to make eye contact when talking or listening. 

“I joined the Supported Internship scheme to improve my social skills and confidence, help with my time management and to possibly make new friends by increasing my social circle."

As well as transforming young people’s lives, the programme also helps us achieve our ambition to be more like the people we serve. 

Around a fifth of the UK population is believed to be disabled. In WMP only around three per cent of our 11,500-strong workforce have declared they have an impairment. 

Despite this, we were recently voted the second most inclusive employer in the country and has a support network − called Enable − for disabled officers, staff and volunteers. 

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