Life-changing internships project set to help more disabled people into work

4500 16-25 year olds with special educational needs and disabilities in England are set to benefit from a new, life changing, supported internships programme per year by 2025.

The Department for Education funded programme is designed to support more young people with additional needs to have greater choice and control over opportunities that prepare them for adult life and enable them to gain long-term meaningful employment. Currently, only 5.1% of people with special educational needs and disabilities gain permanent paid employment in the UK, compared to 80% of their peers.

Internships Work is designed and delivered by The National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi), in partnership with DFN Project SEARCH and the British Association of Supported Employment (BASE). 

BASE will lead on the delivery of a funded Supported Internships Job Coach training programme.

There are four key elements to the project:

1. Support to Local Authorities
NDTi will be supporting Local Authorities to establish and develop SEND employment forums as well as administrating and monitoring Section 14 grants to support them with this programme.

2. Engaging and Supporting Employers
DFN Project SEARCH will lead on engaging employers and support them to offer high quality work placements by providing information, advice and training that enable growth in internships and job opportunities.

3. Establishing a Supported Internships Quality Framework (SIQF)
BASE will lead on establishing a sustainable process to improve the quality of Supported Internship provision, using a Quality Assurance framework. The Supported Internship Framework will provide organisations with support on completing self-assessments and auditing so that they can work towards achieving a quality kitemark that shows that they are providing true Supported Internships that lead to real jobs.

4. Investing in Training

BASE will lead on delivering Job Coach & Systematic Instruction training to over 700 job coaches. The bespoke training has been developed in line with the Supported Employment National Occupational Standards (NOS) and reflect the key principle to training job coaches in the latest Supported Internships Guidance.  The training will be delivered face to face or online to suit the trainees need and we have scheduled some initial online training courses to run in October and November 2022. 

Laura Davis, Chief Executive, BASE :

“Supported internships are a highly effective model in supporting the transition from education into employment for those young people who are able to access them, and the job coach role is an essential element of any successful supported internship programme. BASE collaborated on the development of the National Occupational Standards and the Supported Employment Quality Framework, and moving forward, this project provides an exciting opportunity to embed and further shape quality within Supported Internships.

BASE and our amazing associates, look forward to delivering training to Job coaches across the country and working with Supported Internships providers across England to support the sector to achieve the best employment outcomes for young people, because ultimately that's what it is all about.”

On a personal note, it is wonderful to see this huge investment and to be part of the delivery partnership that will ultimately make a difference to the lives of young people and their families, just like my own.”

Visit the InternshipsWork website  

Organisations which deliver Supported Internships and have Job Coaches who require training should enquire about the initial online training here Supported Internship Job Coach Training