The Power of Supported Internships

Supported internships can be a powerful tool to unlock young people’s potential, and also support employers with attracting a wider talent pool, which can be highly effective.

Supported internships offer a valuable chance for young individuals aged 16-24 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) to acquire significant work exposure, all under the guidance of a skilled job coach. The job coach works closely with both the individual and the employer, to find a successful match.

The aim is to support young people into sustainable paid employment, giving them the confidence and skills to work independently.

They are also a fantastic opportunity for employers, not only to gain extra support, but often young people on supported internships will bring fresh ideas and new approaches, which can be highly beneficial. Through supported internships employers can create a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

We caught up with a few of our learners, who are on their supported internship, to see how they were getting on:

Sam, completing her placement at Puxton Park

When I first started working I was scared of meeting new people but, the staff here are really nice, kind, caring and wonderful people. I love working with all of them.

I have completed training, which was helpful for me. I was able to learn a lot of new things about all different areas. For example, reception, shop, park and catering.

My job coach has been great too, as he understood how I was anxious but he reassures me. He helped me through all my shy days that I’ve been at work. He's helped with pointers when talking to costumers’ example when asking for tickets.

I have surprised myself in the way I have adjusted to the changes outside of education. It has been a learning curve as I have adjusted into the working community. I enjoy my hours and feel a sense of accomplishment and a new joy when I complete a task.

Sam working at Puxton Park stood behind the counter

Dan, completing his placement at North Somerset Council

I feel very happy and enjoy my job at The Town Hall.

I have completed several training sessions, including Capita and also e-learning. My tasks include inputting data onto excel as well as learning how to use the EHC Hub to research important information.

I receive support from my job coach and manager, which has been really helpful for me.

My targets are to develop my touch typing, communication, teamwork and I set my own LinkedIn Learning.

I can’t think of any more reasonable adjustments because everything has been amazing.

Dan typing on his computer at work

Orlan, completing his placement at Co-op

I’ve found my internship at the Co-op to be positive since I started back in November.

The staff have all been nice and are always willing to help whenever I need it. I work a four-and-a-half-hour shift, which I like, as it has suited me.

I have enjoyed the tasks (sorting out the food and drink items and stock taking) and liked the repetition each time I’ve been on shift.

My internship at the Co-op has given me good experience for work life. I give my sincere thanks to everyone involved in my opportunity and experience!

Orlan on the shop floor at Co-op

Another success story is former learner Will, who is now a Sound and Lighting Technician:

My internship was within creative arts. My placement was a great experience, as it taught me vital skills which helped me to secure some paid freelance work at some local festivals. 

My job coach has supported me to learn how to do my own accounts. I am developing the skills I need with a local theatre company. I am loving every second of it this is my dream job.

Will working on his laptop

Amelia, who completed her supported internship at the Railway Inn with Thatcher’s Cider:

My supported internship has had a huge impact on my life, helping me to be open and explore new job opportunities.

Having the support of job coaches is so helpful, as they continuously explore opportunities with different companies, to find one which best suits you.

Thanks to their support I have been able to gain a role at my dream company, Thatcher’s Cider! From having job coaching sessions outside of the internship to having the support of a job coach during my placement – it was very beneficial to me.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without my job coaches or the supported internship – their patience and incredible support really helped me.

Supported Internships taught me a lot of strength, communication , professional skills , growth , willing to try new challenges and to give opportunities a go. It also helped with my determination, resilience and confidence.

Supported Internships taught me dreams can come true if you work hard towards your targets and goals.

Weston College’s slogan is Creating Brighter Futures, and for me, that has definitely been the case. I’m looking forward to what the future brings, with a company I thought I could only have wished for.

Amelia working at Thatchers

Supported internships are a great opportunity for people to kickstart their career, and provide young people with that first opportunity which can lead to long and successful careers. 

You can find out more about supported internships, by clicking here.

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