A YEAR 14 student from Ashley High School in Widnes has been offered a paid contract at a DIY store after impressing them as an intern.

Nineteen year old Ben Galbraith has just signed a temporary contract with The Range, Runcorn, after completing an innovative Halton Borough Council and Ashley High School supported internship programme.

He will be a paid member of staff helping to play a vital role during the coronavirus.

Upon taking up the internship Ben would spend time in the different departments such as the warehouse and shop floor learning how to respond to customer enquiries, work within a team and independently on a task, but he particularly enjoys working in the gallery department which he views as his department and is gradually showing initiative by designing his own displays.

Ben, who has been at The Range since October 2019 said: "I love being part of the team. I enjoy all tasks given to me and like having something to do.”

Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Member for Children, Young People and Families, Councillor Tom McInerney, said: “In Halton we want all young people, including those with special educational needs and disabilities to get a good job when they leave education.”

Ashley High School's Sixth Form Job Coach Vicki Banks added: “Ben was attracted to the new supported internship programme as he liked the idea of gaining valuable work experience and had shown an eagerness to work.

“He had enjoyed his work experience placements in retail and hospitality but wanted something more permanent and the supported internship programme offered him the chance to spend more time in the workplace where he could develop employability skills alongside his college course."

Praising his work ethic store manager Jane Campbell said: “Having taken over as the new manager at The Range I didn’t know Ben very well.

“However, his determination and resilience during these challenging times led me to offer him paid employment. Ben was here every day asking about opportunities and it was his attitude and approach to work that made him stand out.”

Ben’s mum added that the job had provided him with newfound confidence and friends.

Feedback from many employers has shown that having an intern has helped raise staff morale, while the benefits for the intern include developing news skills and experience for their cv.

For more information on internships contact Paula Edwards on: 0151 511 7286.