Supported Internship Programme

Supported internships Information Booklet. Images of young people in the workplace.

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supported intern with St Helens music service

A Supported Internship is a programme offered throughout England to young people in possession of an Education Health and Care Plan. What makes them different to other courses is that most of the learning is done at work, ‘on the job’.


The programme starts in September and runs over one academic year, giving interns the chance to experience a full-time work placement and demonstrate their ability in the role over a long term placement.


Each intern will spend four days a week in a work placement, gaining valuable skills and experience and one day a week at Peter Street Centre in St Helens, developing their English, maths and employability skills


The Supported Internship Programme is not for everyone. All interns should be in possession of an EHCP and be able to or be training to travel independently. Resilience and determination are desirable qualities as very often the placements will offer challenges that many learners are unaccustomed to.

Most importantly interns must be motivated to work and aspire to employment.

A Supported Internship could be the right choice for you if you know you learn best by ‘doing’. The most important thing is that you really want to get paid/ voluntary work. Supported Internships are all about working towards a paid job or long term voluntary work.

"In the final months of the programme it became evident that James had gained the skills to formally join our team" 


The supported Internship Programme does not just throw interns into any old placement!

In order to find the right placement for the intern, all participants will complete a Vocational Profile. This will help identify and determine the interns interests and preferences which will influence the work placement.

The ‘Vocational Profile’ will document any past experiences of paid or voluntary work and also identify the various strengths and abilities which will ensure interns make a positive contribution in the workplace. It will also serve to highlight any areas of support required within the working environment and how these can be met.

The Job Coach will work closely with each intern and employer to ensure a smooth transition into their work placement and provide regular support throughout their programme.


image of a student and job coach


The Job Coach supports interns to develop skills valued by employers allowing them to demonstrate their value in the workplace and increase in confidence so they perform successfully in the workplace


Each intern will be assigned a Mentor in the workplace who will be the first point of contact if the intern needs any help or support or is experiencing any difficulties. The Mentor will help the intern to learn and understand their job role if needed.

As the role progresses and the interns get to know their role, this support may ease and may no longer be required.


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Increased levels of confidence and independence.

Ability to develop new skills within an active work environment.

Opportunities to make positive contributions.

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Real experience to add to a CV.

Skills for the workplace.

Can result in paid employment at the end leading to financial independence.

Can result in regular voluntary work placement.

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Meet new people and develop a wider social circle.

Wider range of experiences support thinking skills and coping strategies

Being part of a team.


" My son has enjoyed the inclusivity and friendliness of the staff around him. ” 

“ It’s been great to hear such positive feedback from his placement. ” 

“ My son is loving his programme and I think it’s the best thing he has done, he’s loving every minute.” 

“ My daughter is really enjoying the internship, the support has been brilliant. It’s great that she is being treated as a grown up rather than a pupil. ”

Ryan - Supported Intern at Superfast Autoglazing 

Sophie - Supported Intern at St Helens Music Service

Podcast - An interview with a Supported Intern

01744 623358/07785 624 850


01744 671101/ 07895 214 440

The Supported Internship Programme is a partnership between St Helens College and St Helens Council, aimed at giving young people, aged 16- 25, the opportunity to gain valuable work experience, which will support aspirations towards future employment or voluntary work.


The purpose of the Local Offer is to enable parents and young people to see more clearly what services are available for children with special educational needs and disabilities in their area, and how to access them.

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