A supported internship is a type of study programme. It is specifically aimed at young people aged 16 to 24 who have a statement of special educational needs, a Learning Difficulty Assessment, or an EHC plan, who want to move into employment and need extra support to do so.
Supported internships are structured study programmes based primarily at an employer. They are intended to enable young people with learning difficulties or disabilities to achieve sustainable, paid employment by giving them the work skills they need through learning in the workplace.
All young people should be helped to develop their skills and experience, and achieve the qualifications they need to succeed in their careers. Most young people with SEN can hold down a job with the right preparation and support.
Colleges that offer courses to provide ‘pathways to employment’ should concentrate on preparing students with SEN for work. This includes identifying the skills that employers value, and helping young people develop them.
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.
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