Supported internships

Facts about supported internships: who's eligible, how the study programme works, and who to contact for more information.

Supported internships are for young people aged 16 — 24 with learning difficulties or learning disabilities, who want to get a job and need extra support to do this. To be eligible you need a Statement of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), a Learning Difficulty Assessment, or an Education Health and Care Plan.

What are they?

A study programme put together to give each student exactly the training, support and work skills they need to help them get a job. Most of the learning is done in the workplace. Your employer gives you work experience, trains you to do a job role and learn the skills needed for work.

You also have the chance to study for qualifications and other training or learning as part of a personalised study programme that helps you to be ready to take up a job.

Internships are unpaid and last for at least six months — they're all about working towards getting a paid job, and wherever possible doing a supported internship will enable you to move into a paid job at the end of the programme.

How they work

All further education colleges, sixth form and independent specialist providers can offer supported internships.

The school, college or specialist provider will work with local employers and supported employment services. You will be involved in planning your study programme and have a tutor and expert job coach to work you and the employer during the internship.

Where to find out more

  • Find out about supported internships from your school, local college, social worker, transition worker, or from Job Centre Plus. 
  • Your local authority website provides information about what help there is to get a paid job.