College celebrates accolade for Supported Internship project

Trafford College and a host of community partners from around the borough are celebrating being awarded a Highly Commended certificate in the category of Project of the Year at this year’s Festival of Learning Awards.

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L-R – Alan McNeillie (Job Coach, Trafford College), Natalie Irvine (Job Coach, Pure Innovations), Danielle Sidderley (Senior Employment Officer, Pure Innovations) and Fiona Halyburton (Lecturer, Trafford College)

The Festival of Learning Awards, led by the Learning and Work Institute, showcase and celebrate the wide range of opportunities and resources available to adults hoping to continue or resume their education. The Festival recognises the inspiring achievements of adult learners nationwide, along with their families, communities and employers.

Trafford College was recognised for its Supported Internship Programme, which is a partnership programme that aims to support young people with disabilities attain meaningful learning and work opportunities. Based in real work places, the internships are employment-based courses giving students with additional needs the opportunity to develop employability skills.

As a partnership, the team are able to draw on the expertise of specialists in each field. Trafford College is the Educational Provider working alongside their host employer, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT), Pure Innovations-Specialist Disability Employment Agency and Trafford Borough Council.

Since its launch three years ago, the Supported Internship programme has gone from strength to strength, each partner demonstrating unwavering commitment to the success of the project. The impact on Trafford’s young disabled people has been overwhelming, with 60% of students securing paid employment in years one and two with some of the borough’s most significant employers, including Premier Inn, M&S, McDonalds, Trafford Council and Trafford Hospital.

Fiona Halyburton, Lecturer for the Supported Internship programme at Trafford College, commented “I’m thrilled to be part of the programme and feel especially proud to be recognised based on the terrific co-operation between the partners in this initiative. While partnerships always share a common purpose, there can be conflicts of interest, but I’m pleased to say that our interaction has always been a positive experience, with the learners truly at the focus of everyone’s delivery.”

Amanda Noon, Employment Development and Operations Manager with Pure innovations commented, “I’m so delighted to hear about the award.  This is a wonderful acknowledgment for everyone and of course the interns who make the whole project worthwhile.  The Trafford SI is a commendable site with a very strong partnership approach; a partnership I feel we should all be very proud of.”

Joan Scott, Director of Learning for Adult Learning & Skills added, “This national recognition is testament to the dedication and hard work undertaken by a wonderful team, who are providing such a fantastic and rewarding course for these learners. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the team and congratulate them again on such a well-deserved honour.”

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Trafford College is a leading provider of education and training in Greater Manchester. With a £50m investment in world-class facilities, an innovative approach to learning and exceptional links with some of the borough’s most significant employers, students are given a platform from which they can achieve their full potential.

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