With a mission to create opportunities and change lives, The Sovini Group is transforming the future for neurodiverse young people through its pioneering supported internship programme.

In collaboration with Liverpool City Council, the Group delivered a supported internship programme aimed at providing young people with SEND the opportunity to gain experience in the workplace, whilst improving their confidence and developing essential skills.

The goal of the programme is for the individual to secure long-term employment in the future by breaking down the barriers to employment.

Ryan is 18 years old and joined Sovini Construction in September 2023 as a Supported Intern. During the programme his impact has been exponential, with colleagues noting how he has enhanced their awareness, whilst equipping them with the necessary skills and strategies to support individuals with additional needs, in addition to becoming an integral part of the team.

“It is important to note that young people with SEND are all different and have different needs and support requirements. In our experience, these young people have a unique set of skills that can really improve your business and relationships within your team.” — Kerry Beirne, Chief People and Communications Officer

For Ryan, the internship has provided him with invaluable insight into the corporate world, allowing him to explore career options he had never considered before, such as a Joiner or Electrician.

“I feel like a different person. I always thought I wanted to do something with sport, but this has given me a chance to try different things and now I want to be a Joiner. I have learnt a lot of new skills and I get to help my mum around the house with DIY too.” — Ryan, Supported Intern

The internship has boosted his confidence and accelerated his growth and development, impressing his job coach, manager and colleagues. The wealth of experience he has gained throughout his time with the Group has ensured he is on the right path for a better future.

“I feel like I am a lot more confident, and I feel more independent. My reading and writing have also improved, and I get less distracted by my phone. I am a lot happier with my life, I never thought I would enjoy my work and I’m looking forward to my future in the workplace.” — Ryan, Supported Intern

For the Group, the programme has had an overwhelmingly positive effect, fostering equality and diversity in the workplace whilst enhancing awareness of the barriers neurodiverse individuals face.

“We would 100% encourage other businesses to join the supported internship programme. It has made such a big difference to our business and has helped foster equality and diversity in our workplace. By participating in these programmes, businesses not only gain access to a diverse pool of talent but also contribute to breaking down barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities.” — Kerry Beirne, Chief People and Communications Officer

If your business or organisation is considering taking part in the supported internship programme, find out more here.