Amey announces new partnership to support young adults with learning disabilities into work

Jesse Garrick, External Affairs Manager
28 September 2018
Three people stood next to a Amey van.
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Leading public services provider Amey is teaming up with a special school in Woolton, Liverpool, to provide supported internships to young adults with learning disabilities.

Amey’s Facilities Management team is running the scheme in partnership with Abbot’s Lea School, which specialises in high-quality education for students with autism and a range of associated learning needs.

The aim of the supported internship programme is to change the lives of young people with learning and physical disabilities by helping them obtain vital work experience and build their confidence by demonstrating they have the skills and attitude required for today’s working environment.

The supported internship, which formally starts on the 4th of September 2018 and finishes in July 2019, will give six senior pupils the chance to gain real-life work experience in a professional work environment.

During the internship, the group of young people will learn transferable work skills by working in the various Shared Services that are located at Amey’s Matchworks office. These services support the running of Amey’s Facilities Management (FM) operations

Each intern will work here for 10 weeks and will get an opportunity to understand what the working world is like, while increasing their confidence for future employment. They will work in several departments, including HR, IT, Procurement and Customer Services.

Throughout the programme, the pupils will be supported by the intern job coach. A dedicated space is also being set up within the Amey Shared Services at the Matchworks to allow the pupils time to continue with their numeracy and literacy sessions.

All managers supporting the interns are also being provided with awareness training on autism to ensure every pupil gets the correct support needed while undertaking the programme. 

Amey’s Facilities Manager, FM, Defence and Justice, Becky Atherton, who has been responsible for getting the internship up and running, said: “This is something I felt very passionate about, having grown up with a brother who has autism and seen first-hand some of the barriers he’s faced. The enthusiasm all our teams have shown to help get this partnership off the ground has been brilliant and makes me proud to work for a company that cares and strives for equality of opportunity for all. I’m looking forward to welcoming and working alongside the pupils - helping them to develop new skills and hopefully giving them the confidence to go on to gain a full-time role hopefully with Amey.” 

Head teacher Mrs Ania Hildrey said: I’m absolutely delighted that we are partnering with Amey to provide students the chance to gain real-life work experience in several areas within their operations. We aim to use this programme as a stepping stone into the world of work, which will hopefully lead to a job or apprenticeship.”

Amey’s Shared Services Director Martin Rimmer added: “This is a fantastic opportunity to help the pupils from Abbot’s Lea School build their confidence and gain work skills. As an inclusive, diverse employer, it is vital we are leading the way to help break down any barriers that exist for people with learning needs and disabilities in the workplace.

"Building on our very successful and award-winning internship in Sheffield, I’m delighted we have been able to expand this programme to our central support services at the Matchworks in Liverpool. It gives us the opportunity to provide young people with the skills they need to become successful employees as well as building their confidence to progress into full-time roles.”

The supported internship at Amey Shared Services at the Matchworks, Liverpool builds on the successful internship Amey runs on their Sheffield Street Ahead Highways Contract and recently won top prize in the Equality and Diversity category at the prestigious CIHT Award.

Both programmes reflect the approach Amey is taking to putting inclusion at the heart of everything it does.

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