West London College hosted an unprecedentedly successful Support Internship Fair last Thursday. The event, which was hosted in collaboration with the West London Alliance, welcomed over 290 guests in our Hammersmith campus foyer.
Students, parents, guardians and schools were invited to spend the afternoon finding out about internship and career opportunities for SEN and AN students. Many top industry employers presented themselves at the fair, including Hilton Hotels and the Hammersmith and Fulham council. The guest speakers who kicked off the fair included West London Alliance representatives, as well as former L’Oreal, supported Intern Jodie Clark who now works for the college and who spoke about her former experience at the global cosmetic company, hoping to inspire others.
Jodie said: “When I first started my internship at L’Oreal, I had mixed emotions but it helped me to build my confidence and taught me many skills, working across departments at L’Oreal. I think this event is very important, because it shows what we can do to help people with disabilities and also what they are capable of and the things they can do when they go into the placements.”
The event was organized by teams and individuals across the College, led by Angie Hincks and chaired by the Director of Inclusive Learning Charles Nelson, who said: “It was great to see the teamwork come together to create such a successful event attended by 290 people. We have received such positive feedback from the West London Alliance and the guests.”
West London College invited employers to connect with our students and discuss available training and career opportunities. Those who attended had a chance to discuss their individual needs and find out how they can be supported in their workplace.
Our college pursues values of equality in all its activities, including teaching and careers services. This fair was a unique opportunity for our talented and driven students to find out about opportunities which they might miss out on otherwise. The friendly yet professional afternoon also celebrated success of Supported Interns and departments across the college who work with SEN and AN students and help them achieve their best.
Katie Morley, who runs the St Francis Xavier Centre at the Richard Challoner School who attended the fair with her students and said:
“I am big advocate of the Supporter Internships. Some of my students, who have moderate learning needs do not feel ready to go to college or do not want to go at all. Being part of this project previously helped my students to gain more confidence and also to find a job, which is great. I brought some students with me today because I really wanted them to see about their options. It is amazing that West London College has given my students the opportunity to speak to the employers today.”