A 19-year-old student has been offered a paid contract at The Range through an innovative Halton Borough Council and Ashley High School supported internship programme.

The previous manager at The Range showed interest in taking an intern when hearing about the programme at a staff meeting.

She arranged to meet Ben Galbraith to find out more about him and helped to set up the internship where Ben would spend time in the different departments, including the warehouse and shop floor.

He has now been at The Range since October 2019 and is now part of the team.

He has had to learn a lot along the way such as how to respond to customer enquiries, work within a team and learn how to work independently on a task.

The year 14 student particularly enjoys working in the Gallery department which he sees as “his department” and is gradually showing initiative by designing his own displays.

He is always eager to help his colleagues and loves being a member of staff and wears his uniform with pride.

He has just signed a temporary contract and will be a paid member of staff, helping to play a vital role during the Coronavirus.

Ben 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 Famiies, Cllr Tom McInerney, said: “In Halton we want all young people, including those with special educational needs and disabilities, to get s good job when they leave education.”

Ashley 6th Form Job Coach Vicki Banks explained “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. “

His work ethic has been praised by Store manager, Jane Campbell She 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, “Ben has really grown in confidence and it is lovely to see that he has work colleagues that he goes out with socially, this is a big step for Ben and he hasn’t had this before.

Ben was keen to leave 6th Form last year but I felt that he wasn’t quite ready, the supported internship has helped him to experience the world of work whilst still having the support of the 6th Form staff.

The benefits of taking an intern for an employer is that they are getting a motivated and reliable member of staff. Feedback from many employers has shown that having an intern has helped to raise staff morale as staff enjoy having an intern as part of their team.

The benefits for the intern are that they develop confidence in their own abilities leading to increased health and wellbeing.

They can demonstrate their value in the workplace and develop new skills and experience for their CV. The intern develops good working relationships which will hopefully lead to paid employment.

For more information on internships contact Paula Edwards, or 0151 511 7286

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