Overview top

These courses are aimed at developing employability skills and training predominantly within a work based vocational area to enable students to seek employment work and develop skills to remain employable.

Supported internships are structured study programmes based primarily at an employer. They are intended to enable young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities to achieve sustainable, paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need for work through learning in the workplace. Internships normally last for a year and include unpaid work placements. 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.

Although similar in aims to a traineeship or Apprenticeship, supported internships differ in key ways. Young people on supported internships are expected to require a higher level of support than a trainee or apprentice, and to be offered workplace support in the form of a job coach, as well as support for their non-workplace learning.

Embedded English, maths and independence skills are essential parts of the program and the addition of achieving the NOCN Award is a huge bonus.

Prior to enrolment learners will have undergone a detailed assessment to aid a smooth transition onto this appropriate programme.

All learners have a detailed Individual Learning Plan, which clearly states and regularly reviews their needs to all relevant staff. This includes an Individual Support Plan, which involves the student in giving staff a step by step plan to meeting their educational needs.

All learners are supported to set and review personal targets on a weekly basis.

The staff team are committed to understanding each learner’s behaviour and guiding them to alternatives that are more suitable where applicable.

Entry Requirements top

A supported internship is one type of study programme specifically aimed at young people aged 16 to 24 who may have an EHC plan (EFA Funded), who want to move into employment and need extra support to do so. By offering this programme, we will be offering something coherent and personalised that offers breadth, depth and progression.

There is also an additionality of an overall qualification that can be achieved within the Supported Internship of a NOCN L1 in Employability Skills.

*If you do not meet these criteria, please contact us on 0191 427 3900 or email info@stc.ac.uk

Assessment top

Assessment of the Award takes place through the building of a portfolio of evidence and may include teamwork, practical tasks, projects, worksheets, presentations, role-plays, games, question, and answer.

The Maths and English parts of the programme have formal assessments but we do a lot of preparation with students to reduce their anxiety. GCSE resit may also be an option for those learners at this level of academic skills.

Professional Opportunities top

The aim of supported internships is to prepare young people with complex needs for paid employment by:

  • supporting them to develop the skills valued by employers;
  • enabling them to demonstrate their value in the workplace; and
  • developing confidence in their own abilities to perform successfully at work.

Whilst the ideal outcome from a supported internship will be the offer of a paid job from an employer, possibly the employer who hosted the intern’s work placement, other outcomes include:

  • building up experience for a CV, demonstrating that the young person has the skills and willingness to work;
  • changing the perception of employers about employing people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities;
  • changing the perception of the young person’s family that they can work;
  • improving skills in English and maths that enable the young person to be better prepared for work, including handling money, interacting with the public, and practising interview skills; and
  • becoming independent travellers.