Bright future for Keighley College special needs students

14 January, 2020 4:51 pm

A group of Keighley College students are excelling in their supported internships at Acorn Stairlifts.

In a pioneering partnership, Acorn is providing weekly work placements in its Steeton factory for four students with special needs.

With help from Acorn employees, learners Tom Waddington, Kassam Khan, Ahdnan Younis and Max Soundy have been building their confidence and self-esteem by carrying out tasks and learning new skills with the team.

Keighley College Job Coach, Shameem Koser, said: “Watching their faces on their first day was a picture and you could see their sense of achievement, as they’ve never travelled out of Keighley on their own before.

“It’s been fantastic working with Acorn. Staff have made the students feel part of the workforce and ensured adjustments were in place to meet their needs. The college is proud to be working with local companies to offer students real industry experience to hone their skills and prepare for the working world.”

The interns have been carrying out sub-assembly work which is then fed to production lines. They have also been making up joint boxes which are used to connect stair lift rails.

Acorn’s Manufacturing Manager, Andrew Longthorne, said: “The interns have been great. They’ve had a positive effect on the production team, surpassing daily targets and looking to get involved in more complex work. Having them here has been well received within the factory.”

Supported placements are for college students aged 18 to 24 who might otherwise struggle to cope in a workplace setting. Working with Keighley College, Acorn is paving the way for the industrial sector in this area.