A TEENAGE student is gaining workplace experience at a law firm as part of a project to increase opportunities for young people with learning disabilities.
Darlington College student Liam Kelly has been taking part in work experience sessions at DMA Law in Duke Street, Darlington
The 19-year-old is spending one day a week at the firm working alongside staff on their daily tasks.
The opportunity was developed by DMA Law, which also has offices in Sunderland, Peterlee, Hartlepool and Durham, working in partnership with Foundation for Jobs and Darlington College.
It forms part of a joint initiative between Foundation for Jobs and Darlington College to provide young people with learning disabilities workplace experience that increases their skills, builds their confidence and demonstrates their capability to perform well in a genuine business environment.
Kate Winter, DMA Law’s office manager in Darlington, said: “Liam was a valuable asset to our admin team, within which he worked closely with our admin assistant.
“He wasn’t afraid to ask any relevant questions and followed instructions extremely well. We found him to be efficient, hardworking and friendly. It was a great pleasure having Liam working at the firm.
A Foundation for Jobs spokesman said: “Liam has had a great time on his placement and it is really pleasing to hear that DMA Law have also enjoyed participating in the programme.
“The staff at the firm has been really supportive of Liam and we would like to thank DMA Law for taking part in this initiative which makes a real difference to the young people involved.”
Under the work experience scheme the young person is assigned to a one-day a week work placement over a two month period with a local firm. At the end of the work experience placement they receive a reference from the employer.
Firms including The Student Loans Company have previously taken part in the scheme.
Now a national award-winning project, Foundation for Jobs is a joint initiative to tackle youth unemployment involving The Northern Echo, Darlington Borough Council and the Darlington Partnership of private firms and public sector organisations, which has also enjoyed support from businesses and industrialists across the whole North-East region.
It has worked with around 6,000 young people aged between ten and 24 since it was launched in January 2012.
Any firms which would be interested in finding out more about the work experience scheme should contact firstname.lastname@example.org