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HMRC Offers Youngsters with SEN and Autism a Career Path

Five neurodiverse young people will take their first step onto the career ladder through an HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) supported internship programme in Liverpool.


Students from The City of Liverpool College will gain work experience as Administrative Officers, performing tasks including monitoring inboxes and spreadsheets.


Liverpool City Council is funding the project, which provides the students with a structured path out of college and into the world of work.


A college tutor, and a job coach from the charity Hft, will join them onsite, to help them understand their roles and refine their workplace skills to give them the best chance of competing in the job market.


HMRC is the first Government department to partner with the charity DFN Project Search and offer supported internships to students who have special educational needs or autism (SEND).


“I have become a lot more confident in myself and a lot more optimistic about the future and I now take pride in what I am doing and in myself,” said Harry Heavyside, a 19-year-old supported intern (pictured above).


DFN Project Search estimates that less than 5% of people in the UK with SEND are in work and is working to improve this figure by bringing together employers, colleges and local authorities to deliver their supported internship programme and transform the lives of youngsters who may otherwise be excluded from the job market.


“As the first government department to embrace our programme, HMRC has acknowledged the incredible talent and contributions young adults with learning disabilities possess,” said Claire Cookson, Chief Executive Officer of DFN Project SEARCH.


I am confident that this excellent display of leadership from HMRC will be rewarded with a uniquely talented workforce.”


The internships will last for up to a year. On completion, students will be able to apply for vacancies in HMRC or seek opportunities elsewhere using the skills they have developed.


“It’s a sad fact that many young people with special educational needs are overlooked by employers,” said Andy Leggett, HMRC’s Director of Risk and Intelligence Services and Senior Sponsor for Liverpool


“I am delighted that HMRC is taking such a prominent role in helping address that, by offering a first step on the career ladder and the chance to do meaningful work that allows them to demonstrate their skills and abilities in a supportive environment. This has the potential to be genuinely life-changing for individuals and I am very proud and grateful to those partners who are helping make this happen.”


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