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Supported Internships for learners with an education, health and care plan

Supported internships are a work-based study programme for young people aged 16 to 24 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), who have an education health and care (EHC) plan.

Supported internships equip young people with the skills they need to secure and sustain employment through learning in the workplace, with support from a qualified job coach. They last between 6 to 12 months.

Supported interns are enrolled with and supported by a learning provider, but spend most of their learning time – typically around 70% in the workplace.

Alongside their time with the employer, supported interns complete a personalised study programme delivered by the school/college, which includes the chance to study for relevant qualifications, if appropriate, and English and maths at an appropriate level.

Employer cost

Free government scheme but you may have your own business costs.

Some employers may choose to pay wages and cover expenses such as travel and living costs.

Employer responsibilities

Employers provide:

  • a safe work environment
  • workplaces adjustments the supported intern may need
  • a line manager to support, supervise and mentor the student
  • an induction which includes explaining relevant policies and procedures
  • a welcoming environment and be willing to work collaboratively with the job coach, to support the young person to succeed

Benefits of Supported Internships for learners with an education, health and care plan

Supported internships:

  • create and support a diverse workforce
  • provide a job coach who will support the intern and increase your confidence of employing individuals with additional needs
  • increase your capacity and productivity
  • allows you to shape a job role that suits both the needs of your business and the needs of the supported intern

Further information about supported internships

Our guidance on supported internships provides more information on how you can get involved.