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Otis is living his dream at the British Library

Otis Smith is on our Supported Internship programme, for young people with additional educational needs. Otis lives with autism and has other diagnoses too, and, thanks to his hard work and the Supported Internship programme, has been working as a Facilities Assistant in the Alan Turing Institute at the British Library for the last seven months.

Otis has always been open with other students and college staff about his background, and, despite being anxious about returning to education, got involved straight away with enthusiasm in every lesson. He worked hard towards achieving a maths and English qualification, and participated actively in any discussion and group activity. Due to his commitment, his ability to listen and his positive attitude, he quickly became a point of reference for other students and was elected faculty representative.

You can read more about Otis and his journey in this piece, on the Knowledge Quarter website (both the college and the British Library are Knowledge Quarter members).

Our Supported Internship programme is a work-based scheme for people aged 16-25 with Special Educational Needs and/or mental ill-health. Students are based in college 8 hours a week to develop their English, maths and employability skills. They then spend a minimum of 5 hours each week on a work placement where they are assisted by a job coach who supports both them and their employer. Support is tailored to the students’ needs and can range from mentoring to hands-on support.

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