Coleg y Cymoedd launches internship programme to give learners an employability boost

Coleg y Cymoedd has launched a new supported internship programme designed to help final year learners gain invaluable experience of the workplace, improving their chances of securing employment after college.

The ‘Engage to Change – Gateway to Employment’ scheme – a Welsh Government funded programme – is aimed at helping learners who are studying vocational access qualifications to transition from education into the work environment.

Currently in its first year, the scheme sees twelve learners in their final year of phase 2 or 3 pathway course learn about what will be expected of them in the workplace while gaining practical experience with a local business.

Learners on the programme will attend college one day a week – alongside their regular studies – to develop the skills they will need to succeed in the workplace.

They will also be required to undertake a work-based placement, which they will secure following an interview with a prospective line manager at their company of choice. The aim is to provide the learners with real world experience of the interview process and workplace.

Support from specialist Job Coaches at Coleg y Cymoedd and Elite Supported Employment will be provided to both interns and their new managers throughout the work placements, enabling learners to gain an individualised experience.

The majority of internships have been offered by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council as well as a number of small businesses in the local area covering a variety of roles including catering, administration and childcare.

The programme will run for the academic year and is available to Coleg y Cymoedd learners in their last year of education who are interested in gaining employment experience. Once learners complete the scheme, they will transition into Elite supported employment.

Learners are selected to be part of the scheme after applying through the progression route or being recommended by their current course tutor. Interested candidates will need to join an information evening and fill out an application of interest, before attending an informal interview with the course tutor, Elite and a representative from the placement company.

Following the success of the pilot scheme, the programme will return to the college for the 2020/21 academic year. As a result of Covid-19 safety measures, placements in the first term will consist of only in-house placements until January, where external internships will be possible. Any learners interested in joining the scheme can find more information via: sally.begley@cymoedd.ac.uk

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