Supported internship student secures role at stairlift manufacturer

Keighley College student, Tom Waddington, has accepted a full-time role at Acorn Stairlifts following his supported internship.

Tom began working part-time at Acorn Stairlifts earlier this year. He joined the local firm as part of a supported internship; a structured study programme run by Keighley College, enabling young people with an Education, Health and Care Plan to achieve sustainable paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need for work. 

For the past nine months, Tom worked on the factory assembly lines, preparing metal work by inserting screws and bolts. His zest for learning and ambitious attitude was recognised amongst the team and the factory manager, Andrew Longthorne, decided to offer him a permanent position as an assembly worker.

Andrew commented: “Tom is a bright spark who has brought admirable enthusiasm and infectious positivity to the team. While on his internship, he showed real commitment and extra willingness to every aspect of his role. 

“He had a trial working the production line and performed fantastically, so we thought he would be perfect for a permanent role with us. In his new role, Tom will be responsible for producing the finished components for the staircase rail system.”

Tom has been on the supported internship programme for three months. As part of the initiative, he regularly works with Keighley College job coach, Shameem Koser, to develop his employability skills.

Shameem added: “We’re incredibly impressed with Tom’s progress at Acorn Stairlifts, who play a key role in providing life-changing opportunities for our students. Our supported internship programme is essential for developing important life and work skills, preparing our students for the workplace.”

Keighley College is a further education provider offering a range of courses, apprenticeships and internships. To find out more about the supported internship programme, visit