Change that leads to better lives

What Are Supported Internships?

A comprehensive understanding of supported internships and your role as a job coach.

What Are Supported Internships
Alt-text: What Are Supported Internships.

Supported internships represent a significant opportunity to transform the prospects of young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) by guiding them toward sustainable, paid employment. These programs have a profound impact on the lives of young individuals and the communities they are part of. Here's a comprehensive understanding of supported internships:

The Aim: Supported internships are specifically designed to empower young people with Education, Health, and Care (EHC) plans, enabling them to secure paid employment. The primary objectives include:

Skills Development: Supporting these young individuals in developing the skills highly valued by employers.

Workplace Value: Facilitating opportunities for them to demonstrate their value within workplace settings.

Confidence Building: Cultivating confidence in their own abilities, enabling them to thrive and excel in their work roles.

Measuring Success: The ultimate measure of success for a supported internship is the seamless transition to sustained and paid employment. This transition holds profound significance for the young people involved, offering them financial independence and numerous additional benefits:

Confidence and Self-Esteem: Achieving paid employment often leads to improved self-esteem and self-confidence.

Enhanced Well-Being: The positive effects extend to increased overall health and well-being.

Social Growth: Through supported internships programmes, young people get to grow along peers, an opportunities to build community and enjoy a fulfilling social life.

Broader Benefits: Supported internships yield advantages that extend beyond individual success. They contribute positively to various aspects of society, including the economy, employers, families, the local community, and society at large.

Key Features of Supported Internships:

Structured Programme: Supported internships are structured as work-based study programmes.

Age and Eligibility: They are designed for individuals between the ages of 16 to 24 with SEND, who possess an EHC plan and are engaged in full-time education.

Duration: These internships typically last for a minimum of 6 months, with the potential to extend up to a year.

Minimum Wage Exemption: Supported internships are exempt from National Minimum Wage regulations.

Work Placement: They provide substantial work placements, facilitated by expert job coaches.

Path to Paid Employment: The ultimate aim is to equip young people with the skills necessary for sustained, paid employment, achieved through learning in authentic workplace settings.

Personalised Study Programme: A critical component is the provision of a personalised study programme, delivered by the school or college. This programme may include the opportunity to pursue relevant qualifications if deemed appropriate, along with English and maths at an appropriate level.

Career Alignment: Supported internships align with the long-term career goals of the young person, ensuring that their capabilities are optimally matched.

The Role of Job Coaches:

Integral to the success of supported internships is the involvement of trained job coaches. Job coaches play a pivotal role in supporting young individuals throughout their work placements, offering in-work support that gradually tapers off as the supported intern becomes increasingly familiar with their role. Importantly, job coaches also collaborate closely with employers, aiding in boosting their confidence and skills in employing and supporting individuals with additional needs and contributing to the creation of a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

Supported internships represent a transformative pathway to employment for young people with SEND, an opportunity to build the foundations of a future that lives up to their aspirations, and paving the way for greater inclusivity within the workforce.

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