ESS partners with Bedford College

ESS has partnered with Bedford College to deliver the First Steps-supported internship at its MOD Chicksands site. The programme is providing students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) an opportunity to gain valuable work experience in a variety of roles.

As a result, 12 students are now undertaking a year-long internship that sees them completing a series of placements in ESS’ catering, retail and cleaning departments. The participants rotate across the three areas and gain experience in a variety of roles and tasks, giving them the chance to see what they are interested in.

Michael Southerden, ESS general manager at MOD Chicksands, said: “The First Steps interns have quickly become a valuable part of the ESS team here at Chicksands. They’ve fully embraced the programme and are really getting to grips with the various tasks delivered by our catering, retail and cleaning colleagues. I’m so pleased to be a part of the programme and I couldn’t be prouder of the interns and my team for their positive, proactive approach to it.”

Louise Smith, head of foundation for The Bedford College Group, added: “We are delighted to be working in collaboration with ESS to provide excellent opportunities for our students. We hope that this is just the start of a long partnership.”

First Steps has proven to be a great success at Chicksands, with three individuals having already been offered permanent positions with ESS.

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