Inclusive Apprenticeships in Partnership with DPD


Approaching the end of your time at College can be a daunting process for any student, but especially so for our students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). As our young people with SEND near completion of their Employability programmes, the idea of moving towards employment can be challenging, and for some, seem very daunting.

DPD has recognised the fantastic contribution that young people with SEND can make to a business and has created a unique programme to introduce them to the world of work, called ‘Inspire’. Through the ‘Inspire’ programme, DPD is showing these students that paid employment is absolutely within their reach. DPD’s inclusion programme ‘Inspire’ champions inclusion by offering Work Experience, Supported Internships, and Inclusive Apprenticeships to young people with SEND to help give them the confidence to take the next step in their career.

DPD, however, aims to go further than simply enabling young people with SEND to ‘experience’ the workplace, they want to give them a future which is why anyone who joins the Inspire programme will also be working towards full-time employment.

Supported Internships have proved to be a great success at DPD which is why they are keen to build on this and extend their offering and increase the number of opportunities. The Supported Employment team have identified Inclusive Apprenticeships to be a fantastic stepping stone on the path to employment for young people with SEND.

Halesowen College were thrilled to have been approached by DPD to be involved with Inspire. Through this partnership they have been able to promote Inclusive Apprenticeships within the Black Country and are working hand in hand to support two passionate previous ‘Inspire’ Interns, Mitchi Bell and Luke Sefton, to take the next steps in life via an Inclusive Apprenticeship.

The Inclusive Apprenticeship allows for a holistic approach to the apprentice’s movement into the world of work. It is tailored to each apprentice putting their needs right at the heart of the programme. It focuses on developing the apprentice’s current skill set to match the job type.

Claire Hawkes from Halesowen College says “This is an incredibly exciting venture for both us and DPD and we are thrilled to be supporting two very passionate individuals with their next steps into employment.

Inclusive Apprenticeships have the capacity to generate opportunities for all young people keen to enter the world of work, helping those who might need a little more assistance along the way. Our Inclusive Apprenticeships are developed with the apprentice at the centre of the process, working closely with them to generate a unique pathway and supporting their specific requirements.”

Karen Price – Job Coach from Halesowen College says “I believe this role and the Inclusive Apprenticeship programmes are crucial to supporting the apprentices. This structure will enable them to achieve their goals of completing the course and transitioning into permanent employment. I am privileged to be in a position to be able to make a difference and support the apprentices on their journey.”

Sophie Robins, Apprenticeship & Supported Employment Coordinator at DPD, says “The ongoing development of our Inspire programme is something we are really passionate about here at DPD and we see Inclusive Apprenticeships as a fantastic opportunity for both these wonderful, enthusiastic young people and our business”.


Posted: 11th February 2022

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