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    Foundation Learning student succeeds in retail

    10 January 2024

    Katie Crutchley, a former Foundation Learning student at Burton and South Derbyshire College (BSDC) is now enjoying being in employment thanks to the Supported Internship programme.

    During her time at Burton and South Derbyshire College, Katie first completed an Advance to Vocational Studies course and then progressed on to the Supported Internship programme, where she undertook two different work placements to develop her employability skills.

    Her first work placement was with Greenbank Leisure Centre, working at the front desk and supporting in the café for two days a week. Talking about her first time in the workplace, Katie said: “I felt nervous when I first went to placement, but after a couple of weeks, I settled in and worked hard to get as much experience as I could. I was so happy going to placement that when it finished, I didn’t want to leave!”

    Katie completed her second work placement in the retail store, Select where she developed skills that helped her to secure paid employment in her current role at You Know Who’s in Burton. Her current manager, Stacey Burch is pleased to have Katie on her team: “Since working at You Know Who’s, Katie has been an asset to the team. With a little guidance, she can confidently work through deliveries and serve customers on the till. She has gained a variety of different skills and since starting work, it is evident Katie is more confident in customer service – she is a delight to work with.”

    A Supported Internship is a structured programme of study undertaken by a young person aged 16-24 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) who has a real desire to work.
    The government scheme combines businesses and education training providers to get young people with SEND employment ready. The work placement is a job specially adapted to meet the skills and ability of an individual, whilst fulfilling a genuine business need for the employer. Students also have sessions on subjects such as maths, English, ICT, Health and Safety and job search skills.

    Katie has since returned to BSDC to speak to current Supported Interns about her experience so far. Nicola Archer-Perera, Supported Internship Course Leader at Burton and South Derbyshire College was pleased to hear of Katie’s success and said: “Supported Internships are a great way for learners with additional needs to make the transition from education into employment. It gives a learner time to practically acquire the necessary skills to prepare them for the world of work. Katie has shown that with the right behaviours, attitudes and skills, anything is possible. We are very proud of her achievements and look forward to seeing where this journey takes her.”

    Evidence shows that workers with a disability often demonstrate great commitment and performance and have excellent attendance records. Burton and South Derbyshire College, who has recently celebrated its re-accreditation as a Disability Confident Employer, is always happy to accept local businesses, both large and small, who are able to provide unpaid work opportunities to help young people with SEND develop employability skills, whilst making a positive contribution to the business. For more information, please contact Rob Goodyer on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    Contact Details

    Contact Details

    Burton and South Derbyshire College
    Tel: 01283 494400

    Town Centre Campus

    Burton Town Centre Campus, Lichfield Street, Burton on Trent, Staffordshire DE14 3RL

    Stephen Burke Construction Academy

    Construction Academy, 21 Tetron Point, William Nadin Way, Swadlincote, Derbyshire DE11 OBB