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Supported internships

Who can do a supported internship

Supported internships are for young people aged from 16 to 25 who have either:

It's a type of study programme that helps young people with SEND to learn the skills they need to get a job. What makes it different is that most young people do most of their learning at work on the job. 

What a supported internship involves

Supported internships aim to support young people to get a job. They are a type of study programme. What makes them different is that most of the learning is done at work, some in college or with a training provider. The course helps you:

  • prepare for the world of work
  • develop and use appropriate behaviours for work
  • improve your maths and English
  • learn skills for independence

In most cases the supported internship will last for a year and includes an unpaid work placement of at least 6 months. This can be with one or more employers.

A supported internship is personalised to the needs of your child. They don't need any qualifications to do one, but commitment to find paid employment is very important. 

You will learn new skills through a personalised study plan at an education provider. This could include learning to handle money or interacting with the public. A Job Coach will support you and work with you and your employer.

There are a range of supported internships available. These include working in a kitchen or selling to the public. In some cases the employer may offer you a job at the end of the supported internship.

What you'll gain from doing a supported internship

It will allow you to:

  • learn specific skills for your work placement
  • gain qualifications such as in Maths and English
  • build experience for your CV
  • develop skills to get paid employment after your internship
  • build your confidence and meet new people

Which education providers offer the programme

You can complete the programme at:

  • further education (FE) colleges
  • independent specialist providers 
  • training providers

Check with the education provider you have an interest in to see what they offer.

Find out more about education providers.

Funding during your supported internship

Support internships are unpaid, but you can apply for an Access to Work grant. This will help to pay for costs associated with your work placement. This could be travel expenses, support workers and specialist equipment.

You will be unable to get job seekers allowance but you can:

Further information

See preparing for adulthood for more information.

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