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London South East Colleges' student stands up to be counted as essential worker

Added on: 20th April, 2020 by LSEC17

London South East Colleges' student stands up to be counted as essential worker

Successful student Dejean

Last Updated:
Mon, 20 April 2020

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As the country fell into the grip of a global pandemic in March, an impending lockdown saw a sudden high demand for food and groceries, leaving the nation’s shops and supermarkets working to full capacity.

Step forward our very own hero student Mr Dejean Hay from the Supported Internship Programme at London South East Colleges' Bromley Campus. The 19-year-old from South Norwood has recently embarked on his first paid work placement at The Co-Op store in Selhurst.

Dejean has loved being part of the team at The Co-Op and has been applying for similar roles in supermarkets around the borough since acquiring his newly-found skills and experience. Sadly, and after attending five interviews recently, Dejean struggled to find regular work - until now.

Personal tutors Giles Delamare and Trevor Jackson are specialists at finding their students the right positions with suitable employers and were not going to give up on Dejean and his ambitions without a fight.

“After securing Dejean his initial work experience programme at The Co-Op, we noticed an almost instantaneous change in his maturity and outlook,” says Giles, “not only that, he also became more responsible, and showed much more commitment to his coursework.

“Just about everything started improving, from his vocabulary, ability to listen and follow instructions right through to lifting his confidence and taking leading roles in group assignments. Working doing something he loves has given him a lot of much-needed self-esteem and that all-important job satisfaction.

“With this appointment, we can all be very proud of Dejean - not only for working so hard and diligently to impress his employers and secure a real job, but also for stepping forward during these difficult times and taking on a formidable challenge.”

London South East Colleges has worked in partnership with Bromley Mencap to make the Supported Internship Programme a remarkable success over the past decade.

Senior Employment Consultant Sally Bateman from the charity is equally as thrilled with Dejean’s secured paid employment. She says: “Dejean has worked so hard to achieve this and his tenacious attitude has paid off. This is a very exciting time for him - even in the current climate his bold determination and drive will see him succeed.”

Stuart Reaks is The Co-Op’s local Area Manager and a keen supporter of the partnership with London South East Colleges and Mencap. He says: “This is a brilliant project and one which makes a real difference to people’s lives. It’s a great feeling to see someone come through like this with the full support of everybody involved. Dejean has been very keen to make his move into the retail business and he seems to have taken to it like a fish to water. He is a tremendous young man and he has the full support of everyone at The Co-Op.”

Dejean performs a wide range of chores throughout the store from shelf-stacking to warehouse duties as well as customer care. He says: “I’m just really happy to be here and working alongside these great people. I’m treated so well, and the work is always a pleasure for me. Despite these strange times, I love coming to work and serving my community.”

London South East Colleges' supported internship scheme is growing bigger and stronger each term. Over a ten year period, a stunning 30-40% of students leaving our SEND employability courses at Bromley Campus (against a London average of just 6%) have progressed into a wide range of meaningful employment programmes. This is a great achievement and one that the College aims to improve upon year on year.

If you would like to make a donation to our FE Foodbank Friday initiative, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/london-and-south-east-education-group


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