EIGHT young people with special educational needs (SEN) have completed a tailored internship scheme by Avon and Somerset Police.

Each individual had the chance to support police community support officers, as well as undertake various admin and data entry tasks, throughout the year-long scheme.

They also spent one week on a course, which gained them formal qualifications and life skills which can be transferred into the world of work. 

This included project planning, cost and budget management, time management, and how to cope with stress in the workplace.

Two of the graduates have already landed roles in the world of work.

The curriculum for this specialist programme was delivered by Seetec Outsource in partnership with Avon and Somerset Police, and the work experience programme was delivered by Discovery, a charity that supports individuals with additional needs.

Matt Leatherby, aged 23 from Taunton, said: “I think the traineeship is a brilliant experience for me. I have met a lot of new people and gained a lot more confidence.” 

Lorraine Spiller, vocational tutor at Seetec Outsource, said:  “Young people with special educational needs can, through no fault of their own, find themselves quite far away from the labour market.

"These internships have therefore been transformational, providing a balance between learning valuable life skills and practical work experience. 

“Each of these learners has gone on a significant journey, and their future opportunities have now dramatically improved. We’re absolutely delighted to see each of them graduate from this programme!” 

Avon and Somerset Police’s chief constable, Sarah Crew, concluded: “I’m so pleased we’ve been able to offer these internships, with the support of Seetec and Discovery.

"I’ve followed the young people’s journeys closely and was really pleased to hear from them during their time with us.  

“We’ve also learned a lot from the young people themselves and have been able to have conversations about how we become more inclusive as a workplace as a result.

"All eight young people have been a fantastic addition to our service, and we’ve enjoyed supporting them to develop their experience of work.” 

To learn more about the programme and to see what other opportunities are on offer, please visit the Avon and Somerset Police force website.