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Supported Internships

What are supported internships?

A supported internship is one type of study aimed at young people aged 16 to 24 who have a statement of special
educational needs or an Education, Health & Care plan (EHCP), who want to move into employment and need extra support to do so.

All young people should be helped to develop the skills and experience, and achieve the qualifications they need to succeed in their careers. The overwhelming majority of young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN) are capable of sustainable paid employment with the right preparation and support. All professionals working with them should share that presumption.

Supported internships are structured study programmes based primarily at an employer. They are intended to enable young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities to achieve sustainable, paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need for work through learning in the workplace.

Internships normally last for a year and include unpaid work placements of at least six months. Wherever possible, they support the young person to move into paid employment at the end of the programme.

Students complete a personalised study programme which includes the chance to study for relevant substantial qualifications, if suitable, and English and maths to an appropriate level.

Who offers supported internships?

The supported internship programme of study is offered by all FE colleges. It is designed to enable young people with additional needs to achieve sustainable, paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need. Most of the learning is based in the workplace within a range of employment settings. Interns are given on-the job training by expert coaches and are expected to comply with real employment conditions.

Interns enjoy many benefits from the course, including increased confidence and motivation, improved communication skills and wider social networks. Employers will also benefit as their staff will gain valuable experience in working with and supporting a young person with additional needs.

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