Supported Internships

Right2Work Supported Internships are a structured study programme specifically aimed at 16-24 year olds who have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) and who want to move into employment but will need support to do so.

A supported internship will be based primarily at an employer and will normally last a year. This includes unpaid work placements of at least 6 months. Wherever possible young people are supported into paid employment at the end of the programme.

Young people on supported internships are expected to require a higher level of support than a trainee or apprentice.

The benefits of this programme include:

  • Work place support in form of job coach.
  • Support for non-workplace learning.

There are no entry or completion requirements – each learning provider will work with interns to develop a personalised programme which will meet needs and provide progression.

Successful Outcomes from Supported Internships

The aim is to prepare young people with complex needs for paid employment by:

  • Supporting them to develop skills valued by an employer.
  • Enabling them to demonstrate value in the workplace.
  • Developing their confidence in their abilities.

The ideal outcome is paid employment but other valid outcomes include:

  • Building up experience for CV.
  • Changing perceptions of employers.
  • Changing perceptions of young people and their families.
  • Improving skills in English and maths so young people are better prepared for work e.g. handling money, interacting with the public, practising interview skills.
  • Becoming independent travellers.

Taking those initial steps on the journey into employment is never straightforward and it can be harder for some young people.

That’s why Oaklea Trust, through its Right2Work social enterprise, is making that transition a bit smoother through Supported Internships.

Don’t take our word for it – hear from Rhys from Workington on how R2W helped him:

Have a look at our brochure on Supported Internships – it is full of case studies involving local young people who have benefited from this programme and have been supported!

Supported Internship Success Stories

Paul - Booths Superstore, Ulverston

Paul Braithwaite, one of our learners in 2017/18, has been successful in securing full time employment with Booths Supermarket in Ulverston.

Paul has been supported by Claire Round and Abby-Gayle Evans from the Supported Internship Team and, latterly, by Kate Fothergill from the Journey 2 Work team.

Paul did the final part of his Supported Internship programme with Booths and all three of our colleagues have been instrumental in converting this placement into meaningful paid employment.

Employment Tutor, Jim Thorburn adds: “Following the success of our first year we have had an 100% increase in learner referrals from the Colleges and as a result we have just completed the round of Job Coach recruitment to staff the programme.”

“There will be an additional eight colleagues joining us in September 2018. Another exciting development for 2019 will be a collaboration between the programme and NHS in south Cumbria where they will be working closely with two learners at Furness General Hospital and have even offered the opportunity to create a post for one of our 2018/19 learners. This initiative has been as a result of a lot of hard work and persistence by Employment Adviser Claire Round, in Furness.”

Ben - The Langdale Estate, Ambleside

When we first met Ben he made it clear he wanted to work, college was no longer his thing! He didn’t enjoy paperwork or being in the classroom, all he wanted to do was work.

Ben has experience of plumbing and multi-trades and was keen to follow this in his future career.

We worked to find a suitable placement for Ben where he could utilise his skills; The Langdale Estate was the perfect choice, to start with he worked with both their Maintenance & Grounds teams, getting involved with repairs, keeping the site tidy, routine maintenance checks and painting, this then progressed and Ben wanted to work within the on-site stores department as well.

This was put in place and Ben has been getting involved with stock-taking, checking off deliveries, putting stock items away. Ben has fallen under the Langdale spell!

He thoroughly enjoys each day of his placement and the departments he works in. When asked what area he enjoys the most he frequently says “I enjoy all of it, there is nothing I don’t like”.

To see Ben grow from college student to being part of a working team has been fantastic – he has progressed and developed so much in such a short space of time, it definitely brings out the best in him.

Jordan - Chunky Wombat Media, Carlisle

Jordan started with R2W as a very anxious young lad who had art as his safe place.

Throughout his time with us he has grown into a confident young man who is now able to make decisions which take him out of his comfort zone. He has surprised himself with the things he is able to do. He takes pride in his work and has matured so much as a person.

Jordan has now decided he wants to step away from art and would like to give a go at helping the elderly/disabled which is amazing that Jordan has been able to make this choice alone!

We are looking at job profiles of an Activities Co-ordinator and exploring Day Centre opportunities. The confidence that Jordan gained from Supported Internships gave him the space to look at what he really wanted to do and is now pursuing a role in the social care sector.