At MacIntyre, we believe that every person with a learning disability should have the opportunity to work. For a number of our MacIntyre No Limits students, their first taste of the working world is through the support of Emma Collings, Employment Co-ordinator at MacIntyre.
We sat down with Emma to discuss how work experience benefits the young people we support, how organisations can benefit from the support of our learners and feedback she has had so far.
Could you introduce yourself and your role?
Hello, my name is Emma and I’ve been working for MacIntyre since 2012 within our No Limits Buckinghamshire programme.
My role has since developed into an 'Employment Coordinator' for MacIntyre No Limits. Now I am responsible for developing links with local organisations to create employment opportunities for the young people we support.
How have students benefited from taking part in a work experience placement?
Taking part in a work experience placement provides our young people with the opportunity to practice the skills they have learnt through their time with MacIntyre No Limits.
Since completing their work experience placements, a number of our students have developed their communication skills and flourished socially.
What kind of opportunities are you looking for, for the people we support?
We hope that our local community will continue to support us and offer volunteering placements for our young people to develop the skills they are taught.
If an organisation is able to provide a few hours a week for a young person to volunteer in their workplace, it makes such a difference.
In the past, our learners have supported organisations with catering, helping with classroom activities at a primary school and supporting an organisation to organise and utilise an overflowing stockroom.
Have you had any feedback from organisations you have worked with so far?
Recently, an employer told us:
"It’s been great watching the young people develop their skills in an environment that they enjoy. I’ve learnt a few things myself!"