Royal Mail Sorting Office Strood
Henry Schein Dentistry and Medical Distribution Gillingham
Steve: Well here at Henry Schein, we take supporting community programmes really seriously. We don't just want to give to charities. We want to be involved in helping people to achieve things. And we felt that the Supported Internship programme was going to allow us to really contribute and naturally we had some concerns about our legal obligations. Employment law, health and safety, those kinds of questions, Forward2Employment helped us to address those early on and we felt very comfortable and we were also a little bit concerned about how our intern team would respond to this particular project. But with the training and support from Forward2Employment we soon got to feel comfortable with the project.
This has been a really regarding programme. Watching the interns grow from the early days with their nervousness and cautiousness about joining the team into well-rounded young people who are confident at work, it's just been great.
Our intern team has also approached me. A number of individuals have approached me to say how good they think it is that we're involved in this programme because they have friends or relatives who have special educational needs and they understand the challenges that they face in their future.
The greatest benefit has been to our wider team morale. They really feel great about the fact that they're making a contribution to the intern's development.
The programme has been really successful. At the end of the first year, we gave the interns full time contracts and I think they will make excellent employees for Henry Schein and they have a great future.
In the second year, we've extended the programme to include the administrative departments too. I would say to any business, get involved in this programme. It is so rewarding, there really isn't a downside.