Steps into Work

Hi everyone

I’m Laura and work as a HR Advisor at the University of Gloucestershire.  I have been invited to write a guest blog this week. I wanted to share the interesting partnership the University has recently embarked on.

In our current Strategic Plan we set out our vision for transformation, particularly for our students. A key part of this transformation extends to the wellbeing and prosperity of our community. One important way to achieve this is building relationships, and one of our four strategic goals is to:

“Build partnerships which create opportunity, innovation and mutual benefit for the communities we serve

As part of realising this goal we have developed an exciting partnership with National Star College to offer unpaid, supported internships across the University, via  “Steps into Work”. This programme helps learners with a disability into paid full-time or part-time employment.

Supported internships offer a wide range of benefits. For some young people this will be their first experience of a job, the first time they answer a phone to a customer, or send a work based email.  With support from our departmental colleagues, the aim over the year is to increase their confidence and, hopefully see an improvement in skills such as communication, team working and planning.  For some young people, it may even help them decide on their career direction.

Placements such as these often do far more than benefit the learner. ‘Steps into Work’ can also provide a fantastic development opportunity for our own staff; staff who may not typically have the chance to assist with operationally managing someone or acting as a buddy/mentor.

We are currently piloting this programme with two young people: One in our Estates department and another in The Growth Hub.  The feedback from the departments, National Star College and the young people themselves, has been hugely positive. You don’t just have to take my word for it though! Over the coming weeks you will be able to read posts from all those taking part. Moreover, colleagues from The Growth Hub will be sharing their experiences at our conference, A Call to Action, on 14th June at our Oxstalls campus.

A measure of the pilot’s success is that, from September 2018, we are planning to have four young people on supported internships across the University. The HR team is very excited to be hosting an internship, and I am currently in discussions with other departments who have expressed an interest.

If you would like to know more about this rewarding opportunity please get in touch with me via

For further updates on our partnership, keep an eye on this blog or follow us on twitter.

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