Access to Work to continue funding for Internships job coaches

We have just heard that DWP has confirmed that it will continue to fund job coaches through Access to Work if they are employed to support learners on Supported Internship programmes. BASE warmly welcomes this decision and we await further details to clarify the decision.

The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that most Supported Internship placements have ended early. Education providers use internal or external job coaches to support interns and it was feared that many job coaches would face redundancy if their wages were not reimbursed through Access to Work. This decision means that job coaches will continue to be funded to maintain contact with learners and employers, maintain skills development, and ready learners for a return to the workplace.

We believe that the decision is retrospective and so claims can be continued from when any placements were ended. DWP has indicated that they will continue to fund job coaches to the end of the academic year and for a subsequent "catch-up period". We are not clear on whether this means into the 2020-21 academic year and will seek clarity about this. It is still very unclear whether placements will be able to restart in September and education providers may be forced to wait several months before placements can start up again.

The Department for Education recently issued funding guidance for Supported Internship providers and learners will now be able to continue their study programme into the 2020-21 academic year.

We'll bring you more details when we receive them.