Siemens programme gives Hull teens with special needs chance of full-time work

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 24 Jul 2017

Young Hull people with special needs and disabilities are already reaping the rewards of a programme with Siemens to break into the workplace.

The programme with Pathway Plus, introduced in January, sees the engineering company work collaboratively with the area’s four special schools to offer supported internships and work placements with teens with learning difficulties and disabilities.

And one of the interns – Ann Harrison, 19, - has already secured a permanent job role with the Alexandra Dock-based company.

The former Ganton School pupil, of Bransholme, will start her new job with cleaning services provider ISS on Monday, July 24.

She said: “I’m starting Monday and I am doing cleaning in all areas.

“They told me when I got back from holiday and I wasn’t expecting it at all. I am feeling really excited and a bit nervous."

She said she would recommend the programme to other young people. She said: "The programme has been good, I think it’s a great programme for people with learning disabilities.

“I really like cleaning and I always clean my room and help my dad out too.”

Ann is only the fourth Ganton pupil to get paid employment in the past 20 years.

Pathway Plus employability coach, Jo Taylor, said: “Ann has proven herself. She gets on with whatever she is asked to do and doesn’t skimp on the job.

"She gets on well with the other staff and has shown herself capable, trustworthy and self-reliant.”

18-year-old Ann Harrison has secured a permanent, paid role with cleaning services provider ISS(Image: Peter Harbour)

Meanwhile another five young people are on track to start their supported internships this September.

They include:

  • Alex Storey, 18, whose internship will be three days a week in the blade factory
  • Jack Smith, 18, whose internship will be three days a week with workwear company Berendsen and two days in an office support role
  • Jack Cuthbertson, 17, who will spend four days a week with Berendsen and reception services provider Swiss Post
  • Chris Bastiman, 20, whose three-day weekly internship will be between the Siemens office and ISS
  • Daniel Smith, 19, who will divide his three-day-a-week internship between Siemens and ISS

Pioneered with Pathway Plus manager and Ganton Special School assistant headteacher John Chell, students on the programme have a chance to try out several roles with Siemens with the ultimate aim of securing full-time work.

As part of the project, University of Hull social care and special needs education students are acting as mentors for the young people.

Carolyn Woolway, Siemens’ head of human resources in Hull, said: “We’ve been very encouraged by the progress of the programme and delighted with the positive impact it has had at this early stage.

“We’ve seen the students grow in their capability and confidence as a result of the valuable work experience opportunities in various parts of the business and our employees and those of our suppliers have committed very strongly to helping the young people succeed.”



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