Supported Internships are a structured study programme, designed to get 16-24-year old’s that have Special Educational Needs (SEND) as well as an Educational Health and Care Plan, into paid employment.
It could be likened to a yearlong working interview, once the internship is finished the intern will be offered a full or part time job with the employer or have the skills to apply them elsewhere. Their C.V will record the experience and what has been accomplished.
There is no cost to the employer and is funded through the educational grant from the Educational Skills Funding Authority (ESFA) and the Access to Work Fund.
How Does a Supported Internship Work?
The internship lasts for a minimum of 6 months and no longer than a year.
The student is attached to one of our local colleges or Special Schools. A vocational assessment is done with the student where they discuss their values, aspirations, disabilities or difficulties and the type of work that fits within skills.
A job coach is assigned to the student. The role of the job coach is to fully understand the working requirements of the employer and the job profile for the intern. Support and guidance are given to the intern whilst they carry out the role, so the student becomes confident and ready to work without the job coach.
The job coach will be with the student during working hours, as they gain confidence they will be systematically removed until the young person is ready to carry on their role in their own merit.
The student will attend school or college to carry the educational part of the programme, this can be 1 or 2 days a week. Depending on the employer this can be carried out on their premises or attached school/college.
During the internship the young person will receive supervisions and their progress tracked. At the halfway point discussions with the employer take place around the suitability and likelihood of the young person being offered a job or being able to apply for a position within the company. Upon completion the young person should be able to go straight into work with the current employer or a suitable job outside found for them.
If a position cannot be offered within the current employer, other options within the company will be looked at such as the company’s contractors and partners as well as other external sources. You will be given help to make a C.V with your experience recorded.
What Do I Get Out Of This?
As a young person enrolled on the scheme you will get valuable experience in learning a role from the inside out. Your Job coach will assist you with travelling and learning the job down to the smallest of detail. In time your job coach will pull away, so you can work confidently, independently and enjoy the freedom and satisfaction a job can bring. You will also have the chance of gaining extra qualifications with your college, experience to put on your C.V, higher likelihood of employment and earning your own money.
As a Parent. You will be able to see your young person gain independence at a pace that is suitable for their needs. You will also have the chance to feed into a forum with the people involved in the programme such as businesses, colleges, schools and Central Beds Council, during the forum you will be able to put your views about what works well and what doesn’t and how we can best help young people going forward.
Can I Choose Where I Work?
You will be able to discuss your dream job with your support team. All of your thoughts will be included when choosing an employer.
I’m Worried About Travel!
Your Job Coach will guide you and look at all options and routes, so you can get to work on time each day. They will work with you to become independent so that you can take the easiest and less expensive route to your job by yourself.
What If Something Goes Wrong?
Just like all employees your employer will be there to listen and guide you, so you can succeed. You will still be attached to your college/school and will have their support when you need it. Your job coach will be there supporting you whilst at work and getting you to a point where you can work on your own and are confident to sort things out with your employer.
Don’t worry if you change your mind, your job coach is there to ensure your needs are being met. Your job will be happy to discuss any bumps, fears and questions along your journey.
As a parent: our local forums will give you a chance to discuss best practice and listen to views of how other businesses and partners have overcome issues.
Will I Be Guaranteed A Job?
We can’t guarantee you will gain paid employment. However, the idea of the internship is to give you a better chance. Dependent on your circumstances your job coach, college, CBC and employer will seek to find you employment. Regardless of the outcome, you will have built up transferable skills, an enhanced C.V, qualifications and if not a paid job, a better chance of gaining employment.
How Do I Sign Up?
Contact your local college or school about signing up to our intern programme.