We all need a little support. Could your company help a young person into work?

Our Supported Internship Programme is designed to help support young people with additional needs towards securing sustainable paid employment. 

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Bridging the gap between education and employment

Our Supported Internships programme is for young people aged 16-24 who have additional needs with an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP). They want to progress into employment but just need some additional support to do so.

The programme gives them the opportunity to not only gain valuable job experience within a real work environment, but to also progress with the development of their English, Maths and Employability Skills and where applicable, achieve a work related qualification.

  • Internships last for six months to a year
  • A minimum of two days a week with the employer
  • One day off-the-job training at the College
  • No wages cost to the employer whilst on the programme


  • A study found that 87% of consumers preferred to use companies that hired people with disabilities and 92% felt more favourable towards those companies.
  • It is estimated that supporting one person with Special Educational Needs into employment could, in addition to improving independence and self-esteem, increase that person’s income by between 55% and 95% and reduce lifetime support costs to the public by £1 million.
  • Recent data from the Office for National Statistics states that only 7% of people with a learning disability are currently in paid employment.

Preparing interns for employment

Before joining the programme the young person will have had work preparation support to enable them to engage in the initial demands of real job conditions.

We undertake vocational profiling with prospective interns to ensure that their skills, strengths and abilities match with the job requirements and the most suitable job.

On-the-job training and support

Our skilled Employability Coaches are on hand to ensure both the employer’s and the young person’s individual needs are met.

We will arrange for regular progress monitoring to take place to ensure realistic targets and goals can be met.

If specialist equipment is needed we may be able to arrange this through the Access to Work fund.


The programme provides a valuable opportunity to help a young person achieve their goal of gaining the skills and knowledge to secure independent employment.

The tasks performed by the young person should fulfil a genuine business need and be a productive contribution to the business. The work placement also creates potential mentoring or supervisory opportunities for existing employees.

Collaboration between College and employer

Our employability coaches will be on hand to help with all aspects of learning new tasks and building working relationships.

If you would like to find out more about the Supported Internship Programme please contact Joanne Gibbs on 01284 716 257 or email [email protected]

The Supported Internship Programme is being run by West Suffolk College in partnership with Suffolk County Council.