James finds his perfect match at Beerblefish

Beerblefish Brewing Co., took on its first intern from West Lea’s Supported Internship Programme, as part of its wider aims to promote a more inclusive and diverse workforce culture. The programme gives 16-to-24-year-olds with Special Educational Needs (SEN) the opportunity to find work, as well as encouraging businesses to diversify their workplace.

James began his internship at Beerblefish Brewing Co., having previously worked at Camden Town Brewery. He proved to be a valuable member of the Beerblefish team, by getting involved in several tasks including the bottling, labelling and packaging of beer.

The Supported Internship programme focuses on preparing SEN students for life beyond the classroom, equipping them with essential skills needed to succeed within society and helps to bridge the gap between the worlds of education and employment. Through partnering with businesses like Beerblefish Brewing Co., the school is able to give young people the opportunities they deserve, while supporting businesses with fully-funded work placements, shaped around their specific needs.

Beerblefish Brewing Co. is a social enterprise based in Enfield that was set-up in 2015 with the aim to make beer a force for good in the community. It is part of a group called ‘Work in Progress’ which looks for ways to make the beer industry more inclusive.

James said, “I have loved my time at Beerblefish Brewing Co. so far. From the start the staff have been so welcoming and patient with me. Working in a smaller brewery has meant that there are always jobs to do, which is great because I like to keep busy.

“The job is very hands on and physical which has meant I have learnt so much. I have particularly enjoyed learning about the different beers produced and what makes them unique from one another.

Bethany Burrow, Co-Founder of Beerblefish Brewing Co. said, “We’re proud to be giving a young person with SEN an opportunity to work with us. James is already proving what an asset to the team he is and his Job Coach, provided by West Lea School, has helped make sure that both James and the business get the best out of this experience.

“James has always wanted to work in the beverage industry and his enthusiasm and willingness to learn have shone through from the get-go. We are very excited to be working with both James and the Supported Internship Programme and look forward to guiding him, and perhaps other students, in the future.”

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