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Eight young people celebrate success at traineeship graduation

A picture of eight graduate trainees stood together at their graduation

A cohort of eight young people have successfully graduated from our supported traineeship for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and autism. We ran the year-long traineeship in partnership with Seetec Pluss and Discovery-UK.

The traineeship provided real-life work experience with us for eight young people from 18 to 25 years old, combined with training in work-related skills. The aim was for the young people to gain skills and valuable work experience to become independent individuals and move into sustainable employment.

The young people experienced different types of police staff roles such as working alongside neighbourhood policing teams, assisting in the vehicle workshop, and supporting the mounted section with caring for police horses.

Our Chief Constable Sarah Crew said:

“Having tracked the young people’s journeys from the start and having checked in along the way, I can say with some confidence it has been life changing and not just for the interns. It has also changed us as an organisation for the better.

We’ve learned a lot from the young people themselves and have been able to have conversations about how we become more inclusive as a workplace as a result. All eight young people have been a fantastic addition to our service, and we’ve enjoyed supporting them to develop their experiences of work.

I’m proud we’ve been able to support three of our trainees to remain with us, to continue to bring their skills to our workforce, and wish all the participants well on their next steps.”

Detective Sergeant James Holdsworth from our Criminal Investigations Department has been leading the team in supporting the trainees in his area. He said:

“The traineeship and interns have had a hugely positive impact on the directorate, and us as individuals. Their attitude, enthusiasm and personal development has been memorable and inspiring. We’ve become much more inclusive as a department, with staff actively volunteering to work and support future interns.

“We also secured funding to provide bespoke neurodivergent training for our colleagues. As a team we now know much more about neurodiversity and are adapting how we interact, not only with our colleagues, but also with victims, witnesses, suspects and the community we serve.”  

Lorraine Spiller, Vocational Tutor at Seetec Outsource, said:

“Young people with Special Educational Needs can, through no fault of their own, find themselves quite far away from the labour market. These internships have therefore been transformational, providing a balance between learning valuable life skills and practical work experience.

“Each of these learners has gone on a significant journey, and their future opportunities have now dramatically improved. We’re absolutely delighted to see each of them graduate from this programme!”

Aaron, a participant on the traineeship said:

“It’s been really good. The police teams have all been very helpful and they’ve taught me a lot of things. Different skills which I didn’t have before, and it’s really put into perspective what kind of things I can do, and how helpful I can be at times.”

Some of the participants also shared on film their experiences:

For more information about opportunities currently available to join Avon and Somerset Police please visit www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/apply/jobs-and-volunteering/