Havering College hosted a presentation ceremony for four young people who had been taking part in a new project.
It was a bespoke program to practice work related skills, a grant from Havering Local Authority helped fund the project.
MP Andrew Rosendale attended the event to present the awards to the four students.
Mr Rosendale said: “It’s really important to congratulate the young people who have worked so hard, its given them huge confidence and opportunities they wouldn’t normally have it’s a great privilege being here.”
Jill Huntington learning support manager at the college, was involved in the project from the start, she said: “The students had finished their main program then had nowhere to go afterwards, so this was like an extension of their learning. It has been really exciting, something new.”
Daniel, travelled to Shoreditch to work in an I.T Department said: “It has been really good experience for me.”
The supported internships helps to give the youngsters an opportunity to make new friends and develop their employability skills.
Angela Hodges, from Mencap, supported Allan through his placement said: “It’s a big achievement for us, to see them hopefully take the skills to get paid employment later on. The students are matched with a suitable placements as Allan is passionate about radio presenting he was given an opportunity to volunteer with Bedrock Hospital Radio.
Allan Summer, one of the students and volunteer at Bedrock said: “I have got so much experience from Bedrock, I have learnt so much about team work. I am so grateful.”
Mencap are the voice for people with learning difficulties they also support their family and carers, they currently have around 150 youngsters requiring assistance for placements.
Jackie Smith, Associate Principal, said: “There is a perception that young people need a lot of support, maybe initially but very quickly we can train the pupil in the job then start to withdraw, and be like any other employee.”
Ms Smith added: “Havering College is about helping young people develop their work skills. The project was so critical was because it can be more challenging to find a job for people with additional needs.”
Ms Smith said: “For anyone without additional needs the employer will put them on a training program and an induction program, its no different they just need a little more support and that’s what we are here to do.”
Claire Manager, of Bliss Flowers in Cranham, gave Sarah the opportunity to volunteer at the florist shop and will continue now the program has ended.
Claire said: “She has been with us for 6 months, one day a week the whole team are enjoying working with her as she is them. Everybody needs to learn somewhere.”
All the youngsters received a certificate and a plate presented by Mr Rosendale, it is hoped that the project will be extended in the near future.
Annette and Ian from Bedrock were also at the presentation.