Posted: Tue 1st Aug 2023

Asda Queensferry spearheads internship scheme for students with learning difficulties and disabilities

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Aug 1st, 2023

A supermarket giant is providing job opportunities for students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.

Students from Coleg Cambria Northop will begin full-time roles at Asda Queensferry from October.

The Deeside store will be the first in the company to join the internship scheme, which is driven by DFN Project Search.

Fewer than 4.8% of people with a learning disability* go on to secure full-time jobs, so the charity 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.

Asda Queensferry will take on a group of eight learners every year to support the college’s ILS (Independent Living Skills) programme and further strengthen its position as a diverse and inclusive employer.

Jo Fisher, Curriculum Director for ILS and Foundation Skills at Cambria said the partnership will give the groups a sense of responsibility and purpose while allowing them to plan for the future.

“We are excited by this project, it’s a huge opportunity for our students,” she added.

“For this to be the first Asda store in the UK to take part and for them to choose us for the internship is an honour, it really will boost the learners’ confidence and help lay the foundations for their careers.

“They will be working on the shop floor, in the warehouse, in customer service and other retail roles, with a chance to progress and learn new skills.

“This is regular employment and fantastic for the higher-level Pathway 4 cohort, giving them a platform to go on and earn money, become more independent and develop skills valued by employers.

“They’ll get to work in different departments to see which suits them best and we will have an employability officer based on site to support them throughout.

“Hopefully this will extend to other stores and organisations in North Wales and beyond because it’s a brilliant and inspiring collaboration.”

Claire Cookson, CEO of DFN Project SEARCH, said young adults with a learning disability and/or autism spectrum condition have a huge array of talent to offer employers.

“The majority of which is untapped,” she added.

“That’s why we are thrilled to offer this life-changing opportunity to the first cohort of interns, who will soon be taking their first steps on the DFN Project SEARCH journey at Asda Queensferry this October.”

For more news and information from Coleg Cambria, visit www.cambriaold.ac.uk.

Visit www.dfnprojectsearch.org for more from DFN Project Search.

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