Supported Internships now available for young people who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

will internship supported interns

Published Wednesday, 21st July 2021

Sutton Council and Orchard Hill College are working closely to bring together an exciting Supported Internship Programme during 2021/22, starting this September.

The Programme is designed to provide support to young people in Sutton aged 17-24 who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and need additional help to move into employment. Through tailored support, both from the College and Sutton Council, they will gain valuable skills, experience and qualifications to help kick start their career in their chosen field. To achieve this, the Intern will be supported through an Orchard Hill College WorkStart Lecturer and a Job Coach helping them to build confidence, gain their qualification and paid employment at the end of the year.

The Supported Internship route to employment has proven a great success in previous years giving young people a wider range of opportunities to gain employment. Will Blades has nearly completed his Internship and this is what he had to say about his experience.

Why did you decide to take up the Internship?

I was out of education or gainful employment for several years and I wanted a chance to get back on my feet and gain useful skills and confidence.

What aspects of the Internship do you enjoy?

I like knowing I’ll be doing some, if not a lot of, work during the week because it gives me purpose. I especially enjoyed the rotations/placements because they’ve given me first-hand experience and training which I can now draw on.

What have you learnt during this time?

I have learned how to conduct myself correctly both virtually and physically while at work, attend interviews calmly and efficiently, how to utilise Microsoft suite at an intermediate level and use other programmes such as charitylog to handle live data safely. I have also learned how to both take and make phone calls to clients, carers, and organisations. On top of this, I have also learned how to survey areas, take inventory and restock supplies.

What support have you been provided with while being part of the programme?

I had very poor attendance at the start of the course. The job coaches were very understanding at first, but they were firm with me, making sure I knew why it was important to attend. Furthermore, I was given support in finding jobs, completing tasks,and working by both my job coaches and my managers and colleagues. It is a very positive, go-getting environment which is very nice to be part of. I felt privileged to have all this support which helped me so much.

Would you recommend this programme to others and why?

I would recommend this to a young person with autism I know, who is at a loose end when it comes to employment. It's excellent even if you haven’t been in education for ages. In terms of any behavioural issues the staff are very helpful and understanding, so it’s open to a wider spectrum of people.

What would you like to do after you have completed the Supported Internship Programme?

I have secured a placement within a Council. My long-term goal, however, is to pursue a career linked to the water, hopefully as a scuba diver working with a salvage company, in public safety or attached to a research vessel.

Are you interested in finding out more?

If you are aged 17-24, live in Sutton and have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and feel the Supported Internships Programme could be the right move for you, please complete this short form to let us know you are interested.  If you would prefer to speak with someone to find out more about the programme, call 0345 402 0453

For more information about Supported Internships and how they can support you in your career, visit the WorkStart Website.