STUDENTS with learning difficulties and disabilities are gaining bags of experience with a supermarket giant.
In partnership with Coleg Cambria and the charity DFN Project Search, Asda is providing full-time job opportunities for learners to gain paid work experience at its Deeside store.
The four ILS (Independent Living Skills) students are loving their new internship roles and extra busy given the Christmas rush.
Among them is Daniel Hodson, who has been stocking up the shelves and helping customers this festive season.
“It’s like a family environment, which I really like,” he said.
“I’ve enjoyed working in the produce department as it’s something I’ve experienced before.
“I would love to be a team leader one day and help more interns if I get employment full time.”
DFN Project Search aims to support 10,000 young adults with a learning disability, or autism spectrum condition (or both) into paid employment by 2030 and has already helped more than 2,000 people to date.
From next year, Asda Queensferry will take on a group of eight learners annually to support the programme and further strengthen its position as a diverse and inclusive employer.
General Store Manager Adele Quinn said the placements began in October and are already reaping the rewards.
“We were approached by Cambria to support interns into getting work, to develop the skills, knowledge, and experience that will hopefully lead to a job at the store at the end of the course,” she said.
Employability Mentor Becs Hitchen-Rielly added: “The benefits are massive for both the college and our interns.
“For young people with learning difficulties and disabilities it’s a huge opportunity in an array of different departments where they can pick and choose the things they like and enjoy doing.
“The feedback from the interns has been absolutely brilliant, they’ve enjoyed every minute of being on the shop floor, helping customers and learning new skills and meeting new colleagues – it’s been fantastic.”
For more news and information from Coleg Cambria, visit www.cambria.ac.uk.
Visit www.dfnprojectsearch.org for more from DFN Project Search.