Employer Toolkit - Supported
A supported internship is a structured programme of study undertaken by a young person aged 16-24 with learning difficulties or disabilities.
What are supported internships?
Supported internships are programmes specially adapted to meet the skills and ability of an individual whilst fulfilling a genuine business need for the employer. The programme combines unpaid work with an employer and time in college to gain skills such as maths, English, ICT, Health and Safety and job search skills.
The young person is partnered with a job coach (a member of staff) to mentor them, offer support and build confidence when in your workplace.
Why should I offer one?
Finding new ways to inspire, recruit, retain and engage employees is vital for all businesses. Bringing young people with learning disabilities into your business can boost employee engagement, raise your business profile, and provides you with trustworthy, reliable employees. It also provides excellent connections with your community.
How they work
Opportunities Doncaster supports Project Choice, a supported internship programme aimed at 16-24 year old students who hold an Education and Healthcare Plan. Students complete a minimum of three work placements over the academic year; placements are internal and external to the NHS. The programme is a work ready project, and Project Choice aim for the students to transition into employment, apprenticeships or further education/training.
Students complete a minimum of 15.5 hours in work placement a week. They begin on 3.5 hours a day, 4 days a week. The remaining day is spent in education, learning life skills and working towards their next level of maths and English.
Students follow the academic timetable, so have school and bank holidays off, unless otherwise negotiated with placement and project staff.
What do Project Choice do?
The Project Choice team and job coaches are there to support the students in placement, alongside at least one workplace mentor who will teach them their role within the organisation.
The Project Choice team conduct fortnightly and end of term reviews with students and placements to check on progress and support where necessary.
Project Choice are seeking a variety of placements, including roles within retail, manual handling, reception/meet and greet, and IT.
Opportunities Doncaster will put anyone who expresses an interest in offering a supported intership with Project Choice, who can offer full training.
To find out more information about Project Choice visit the Health Education England website.
Contact the Project Choice team:
- Are you considering offering a supported internship?
- Complete the employer self-assessment to understand how the placement might work in your business