Joseph McGeown talks about how he’s established a supported internship in Mansfield to offer employment opportunities – and a brighter future – to young people.

When I began my new role as Operations Director of Capita Intelligent Communications in Mansfield, I was impressed by the slick set of processes in our manufacturing area that deliver for our clients.

But I had even bigger ambitions for the team, and I wanted our success to deliver for the local community, too. It’s with the trust and support of my colleagues that I brought those dreams to life.

Getting to know the local community

I had ambitions to make Mansfield into a source of local pride, but it struck me that our manufacturing area wasn’t reflecting the diversity of the local community.

Mansfield has a high number of young people that are neurodiverse or disabled. When they leave education, this group really struggles to get into work, often not even getting a job interview. And without secure employment, these young people will face a blighted future.

So, I decided to establish a supported internship scheme here at Mansfield that would offer employment opportunities – and a brighter future – to our local young people.

Developing our supported internship

To create the internship, I teamed up the senior management team, my manager, my colleagues, and my HR business partner. The project was a real test of perseverance and determination, and it was my colleagues’ trust that encouraged me to keep going.

Over the course of a year, and with a few setbacks along the way, we underwent training and also sought out a partnering organisation that would share our values. Finally, we discovered Vision West Nottinghamshire College, who were a perfect match. Finally, we were ready to welcome our new interns.

Helping our interns flourish

As the programme’s first cohort progressed, I was proud to see them growing and becoming valued colleagues and team members. Some have already been offered permanent jobs at Capita, and a new cohort of interns will join us later this year.

The programme received wide-ranging support from across the business, and many of my existing colleagues even volunteered to mentor the new interns. These mentorships showed me that these diversity initiatives benefit all of us at Capita, as well as our local communities.

Celebrating Mansfield together

From the beginning, my colleagues understood that we had it in our power to make a life changing difference to our new young colleagues, and it was their trust and support that encouraged me to pursue this vision. Today, I know that Mansfield is a source of pride and a success story for many of us, in Capita and beyond.

So, all that’s left to say is this: come join us. You have everything to gain – great colleagues to work with, genuine opportunities to learn and grow, and the chance to make a contribution that you can be really proud of.


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