Supported Internships

There are no open events scheduled for this topic. It may be run as an open event again in the future. Alternatively, we can run it as a bespoke internal event for your organisation.


Developing and implementing effective programmes

Supported internships provide a new and innovative approach for supporting young people with a learning difficulty and/or disability into employment.  After successful trials during 2012/3, Supported Internships can now be offered by any post-16 provider, as a 16-19 (or 16-25) study programme, to learners with a learning difficulty assessment (LDA).  Supported Internships offer improved opportunities for outcomes and success and financial benefits for Providers.

The supported internship programme enables providers to demonstrate their responsiveness to the full range of learners within their local community and gives them an opportunity to show their commitment to the government’s drive to increase the number of people with a disability in paid employment.  In addition, providers will have clear evidence, which can be presented to Ofsted, that their provision is personalised to the needs, interests and aspirations of their learners and is focused on achieving positive adult life outcomes for young people.  Critically, it is anticipated that supported internships will provide a solution to the ‘churn’ of learners with LDD, experienced by many post-16 providers, where young people endlessly enrol and re-enrol on similar courses without ever successfully progressing from learning into employment – a situation that is financially draining for providers and deeply unsatisfying for the young people and their families.

Providers are free to design their own delivery model, provided they meet four principles set out by the Department for Education.  This freedom is both exciting and potentially daunting, especially as supported internships are likely to become an essential part of provision for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities (LLDD), offering a positive progression route for learners who have completed existing post-16 LLDD courses or for learners aged 16 who are keen to focus on finding employment rather than taking more courses.

This workshop offers providers the support they will need as they prepare to plan and design a successful supported internship model.  It covers all the key considerations that providers will need to work through, drawing on lessons learned from the supported internship trials and offering participants the opportunity to share relevant experiences from other related initiatives.

For whom

This highly interactive workshop is for representatives from all post-16 provider types offering provision for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, such as FE Colleges, Independent Specialist Colleges, Special Schools with Sixth Forms, Sixth Form Colleges and Independent Learning Providers. 

It is likely that participants will be:

Delegate Feedback

'Good starting point, especially those with no employer engagement strategy.'
Work Placement Tutor, Notts County Council

'Detailed information giving more depth to the enormity of the supported internship programme.'
Supported Internship Co-ordinator, Lincoln College

'A very good way to think about the programme as a whole and all aspects that would need to be considered in planning.'
Instructor, Newcastle College


The workshop focuses on 8 key areas:

1. Background, Aims, Objectives & Benefits of Supported Internships
The first session explores the policy context in which supported internships have been developed. 
Key findings from the 2013/4 trial will be shared.  Participants will also have a chance to share their own prior experience of programmes designed to support young people with LDD into work and their level of understanding of the supported internship programme.

2. Building a Successful Delivery Model
Session two introduces the four design principles to which all supported internships must adhere, likely to be:

Building on the above, this session progresses to explore the shape and content of highly effective programmes, including induction, the balance of time between workplace and non-workplace learning and how to dove-tail the two.  Participants also consider what sort of learning should be covered outside of the work environment, how to personalise the learning experience for individuals, what sort of teaching and learning strategies are most successful, how much and what sort of accreditation might be relevant.

3. Building the Staff Team
Session three considers the staff that will be needed in order to introduce and deliver supported internships, including:

4. The Effective Job Coach
The job coach role has been identified as being pivotal to the success of supported internships; consequently this session explores, in some detail, the role and the responsibilities of an effective job coach and what makes for success:

5. Engaging Learners
Identifying those learners who are eligible and most likely to benefit from a supported internship is a key factor for success.   Session five explores proven methods and approaches for successfully engaging and recruiting suitable learners.  It also considers the role of parents/carers in the process.

6. Working with Employers and Creating Successful Job Matches
Effective working relationships with employers are also vital for successful supported internships.  This session focuses on how to:

This session also covers the critical business of matching the right learner to the right employer and right job role.

7. Securing Positive Progression
This session covers the latter stages of a supported internship and looks at ways to convert placements into paid employment. 

It also covers effective practice in developing exit strategies for those who do not move directly into paid work, including referrals to other agencies, securing appropriate further learning or training and finding voluntary work.

8. Getting Started
In the final session, participants will be introduced to “Getting Started”, a checklist for delivering Supported Internships which has been designed to help providers plan and implement supported internships in their own setting.  Electronic copies of this checklist will be supplied after the event to enable providers to build on the learning gained from the workshop.  Participants will also have the opportunity to consider how to ‘sell’ the concept of supported internships to the key decision makers in their own setting.

Aims and Objectives

By attending this workshop, participants will be better placed to



Internal Staff Training and Development

This training workshop, along with most of our other best practice training workshops, can be delivered as an internal training course at your premises. Even with groups as small as 6-8 delegates, the course fees per person for internal training workshops can be lower than for open events. The potential savings are even greater, if the travel time and the travel costs of the delegates are included.

Running training workshops internally is very convenient and it allows the participants to explore how key issues will impact on them and their organization. Then as a team they can begin to agree upon a development action plan, with priorities. This approach is favoured by many of our clients as it combines a high quality service with excellent value for money and is a highly effective route for staff development.

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Certificates of Professional Development.

This course is recognised for CPD purposes by most professional institutes and associations including the Law Society, the CIM, the CMI, the ICAEW, the Institute of Learning and the CIPD. Formal Certificates of Professional Development will be issued by email to participants who successfully complete this course. These certificates will enable participants to evidence the update of their CPD records. The workshop will consider how to best apply the knowledge gained by the delegates upon their return to the workplace. This element of the programme is designed to maximise the benefits of attending and enable participants to make valued judgments when recording CPD activities