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.

Above: Learners in Carlisle started the academic year ready to hit the ground running. Producing CVs, covering letters, mock interviews and run through team building activities. 

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:

New SI Brochure for 2021

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! I can do it 2021 WEB Friendly

One of our SI Learners in Furness, Joe (above), created this fab video in September 2020 to give his take on what it’s like going to College etc.

Above: The Carlisle SI team ready for action Sept 2020

And below – the Furness based R2W ‘Work & Learn’ gang:

And here’s the ‘stand alone’ socially distant Kendal SI team!

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.

Jenssen - "Soups you sir?"

“Ingredients for Serendipity Soup” – cooked up by R2W ‘s very own Grant Huck -provider of handy bite size chunks of positivity

Please note – you may need to pull up a chair as this is quite a tasty tale…

“Take 1 Student with a Dream to be a Commis Chef, mix him together with an amazing R2W team, Teach him a grounding of basic job skills, stir him around for a little while with a supportive Internship Employer and then almost ruin the whole pan of broth with an incurable Virus and just when you think its completely overcooked and spoiled, throw in a little extra sprinkling of tenacity and a second supportive employer to really bring out the flavours and bake for about 3 weeks and you will then have the makings of a perfect Commis Chef.

We might make light of the situation, but this is pretty much exactly how Jenssen went from College to Commis Chef in the worst year this country has ever known.

Despite all the odds being against him, he is now working full time as a trainee Commis Chef at one of the most successful Pub/Restaurants in Ulverston, The Rose & Crown. But the journey there, has not been straight forward. Jenssen started his journey with the Work & Learn team in Furness in September 2019, having joined up on the Supported Internship programme they run with Furness College. As a successful graduate of the Catering Department at Furness College, Jenssen dreamt of becoming a Commis Chef or Pastry Chef and needed the extra support of our team to help him get there. After 6 weeks in college, focussed on Job Skills training to prepare all the students for the world of work, Jenssen was introduced to Elaine and Matt from the team at The Round House Cafe & Hub on Walney Island near Barrow In Furness. As a brand new venture for Elaine and her team, they were keen to take on Jenssen as an Intern. Here he would have the opportunity to learn the running of a popular cafe from the ground up in a business that was just in the process of opening. Very quickly, with the guidance and support of Elaine and her team, Jenssen quickly became a shining star, working his way from counter assistant, to front of house support and ultimately ending up in the kitchen were his skills really shone out. Sadly only two months into his kitchen role the whole world was struck down by COVID-19 and we all know what happened next. The Cafe was soon forced to close and Jenssen had to isolate at home with his family for safety.”

Oh no…tell me there’s a positive ending…

“But this is not where the story ends for Jenssen. Several months had passed in the UK Lockdown and Claire Round, the R2W Furness Employment Advisor, bumped into an old friend of the Furness Work & Learn team while out shopping, notably John Horton, the previous General Manager of the Abbey House Hotel. He explained to Claire that he was taking on a new venture running a Group of Public Houses and Restaurants in the Ulverston area.”

So to cut an extensive menu short…..

“We cooked up and agreed on an opportunity for Jenssen to try out as a Commis Chef, at one of their Pub/Restaurants. Jenssen then spent 3 weeks working voluntarily to prove his worth with the Head Chef David Doyle (above) at the Rose & Crown in Ulverston. The rest as they say, is history. Jenssen clearly made an impact and did himself immensely proud, because he went on to secure a full time Trainee Commis Chef position and started paid work in September 2020, 12 months after starting his journey with the Furness Right 2 Work team.

Chop chop – serendipity to go!

So despite all the recent bad news and the almost impossible working climate, good things can happen when you mix together the right ingredients. Well done Jenssen from us all at R2W and a big thank you to both Elaine at The Roundhouse on Walney and John Horton from the Rose & Crown and The Farmers in Ulverston, for giving Jenssen the opportunity to achieve his dream. It is forward thinking and socially responsible employers like this that allow us to really make dreams come true.”

Grant Huck, Job Coach, R2W Team in Furness (other recipes are available -just ask!)

Aaron is a "Steaming" success

October 2020: Here’s another great success story regarding Supported Internships. Carlisle based R2W Employment Advisor, Nicola Mitchelhill explains:

“After a 6 month break from a placement due to the current Covid19 situation Aaron was unable to return to his previous placement. This did not affect Aarons confidence or eagerness to get started at his new placement at The Hospice at Home Shop in Wigton.

Aaron is now into his 3rd week at his new placement and he is now working independently with very little support from his Jobcoach due to his enthusiastic approach to learning his new role and the support shown to him from shop Manager Emma.

Aarons Jobcoach sets weekly tasks for Aaron to complete so he as an understanding of new skills needing to be learned. Aaron is showing through the Supported Internship scheme he has gained confidence, new skills , new friendships and a good understanding of Customer Service Skills. The Supported Internship team at Carlisle are all very proud of your progress Aaron, well done.”

Above: Aaron can be seen steaming clothes ready to be put on the shop floor for purchase.

Joe has us all 'bowled over'

Former Furness College student  and R2W Supported Internship Learner Joe Schofield is proving cricket’s answer to Joe Wicks after enjoying a work placement with Cumbria Cricket.

Joe successfully achieved the Level 3 extended diploma in sport at Furness College after studying at the Rating Lane sixth form campus and also did the R2W programme.

As part of this programme he delivered a video taster session for Cumbria Cricket to try to secure a place as part of their community development team and impressed the coaches so much that he was taken on voluntary placement.

Watch his awesome video here

Joe, who hopes now to progress his career in coaching with Cumbria Cricket, said he decided to make the video for young cricketers because they were unable to train during lockdown and he wanted to help keep them match fit.

“I felt that my video would help them to maintain match fitness and keep their health going whilst at home,” he said. “That way, they’d be fit and ready to play their next cricket game.”

“Getting my placement at Cumbria Cricket means so much to me because I want to help deliver the sport around the area and help children gain an interest in the sport as well as helping improve their health and fitness and help them enjoy the sport.”

Furness College Physical Activity Co-ordinator Matt Jefferson said Joe had also regularly taken part in the college’s FIT4WORK sessions, which has helped to boost his strength and confidence. “We are delighted to see how Joe’s hard work has paid off with something he is so passionate about. His enthusiasm for sport is infectious and he created a fantastic video during lockdown to help young cricketers keep active while they were stuck at home.”

Claire Round, from R2W said: “Joe has really embraced the scheme and thoroughly enjoyed his placement with Cumbria Cricket Ltd. His confidence and communication has vastly improved since starting the scheme in September 2019, proving he is ready for paid employment.”

Bob Simpson, of Cumbria Cricket, said Joe was a fantastic example to anyone who wants to better themselves. “He has great skills to offer and has used his creativity to help us get some key messages out to the Cumbria Cricket family, including a fictitious cricketing family called the Wickey family. Joe produced some incredible cartoons of them playing various formats of cricket, from All Stars Cricket through to Women’s Softball cricket, helping to raise awareness to the various participation activity opportunities we offer. Joe is also very keen to develop as a coach and has supported our schools programme in the Barrow area. He is a credit to the college, and we will continue to support Joe as much as possible, as he has added value to what we do and deliver.”

Wise Owl lands at R2W

Sean from Furness has successfully secured a placement with Oscars Nest, Owl sanctuary and Gift shop. He will be supporting the day to day running of the shop, helping to care for the owls, updating window displays, checking stock, learning how to print onto t-shirts and mugs ad welcoming customers.

Sean is really excited to be working with Paul and Nicola. His placement will commence from 11th November, Wednesday to Fridays.

Celebrating big numbers….October 2020

His placement comes as the SI team celebrate big success across the programme. Claire Westmorland, Work & Learn Manager: “On last years SI intake 2019/2020 that we are still working with -some great numbers – those that have gone into paid employment to date 43%. Those still on placement that may still go into a positive outcome 57%.  A huge well done to the SI team, I know this first half term has been a juggling act; last year and this year’s learners, managing the ever changing Covid situation and trying to secure placements during a pandemic!”

We have lift off with Ed

Let us introduce Ed – a learner we have supported and who has given us all a real “lift”

Ed joined the Supported Internship programme with our Kendal team in Sept 2019 having previously been at Kendal College for 2 years on various courses. He was enrolled at Kendal College for the academic year 2019/2020 and then referred to our Supported Internship programme.

Ed’s Journey with R2W

Ed got our normal pre- placement modules such as Health and Safety, timekeeping, CV preparation, job searching and others. The programme is designed to allow for the first 6 weeks to include this work, whilst at the same time our Employment Adviser, is out seeing possible placements based on the choices our learners identify. This work normally takes place in the first half term with our learners moving in to their placements on their return from the half term break.

In Ed’s case, he was able to secure a placement with a book distributor based in Kendal. The placement provider had a large (very large!) warehouse where they housed huge numbers of books and magazines which were stored and sorted and then distributed to retail outlets. He was in placement 3 days per week and worked 09.00–16.00. He was supported by his SI Job Coach in the placement but fairly soon, he was taken under the wing of one of the warehouse workers who was very helpful in being a mentor and work buddy. His roles developed as the placement progressed and he learned many skills essential for a warehouse worker and was able to perform some of the tasks unsupervised and independently.

“Booked in and ready 4 anything” – Ed and Jim outside PR Books Warehouse

His progress was monitored and recorded by our team and a close liaison developed between the placement provider and the team to ensure that there was a measurable progress during the time he was in the warehouse.

Challenges along the way….

As is usually the case, the placement was not without its challenges and “bumps in the road” but with the co-operation of Ed, the Supported Internship team and the placement provider , together with the continued interest of Kendal College and also his landlord, Fairoak Housing, the programme was moving towards a successful conclusion when it was closed down early.

One of the ambitions of the support was to arrange Novice Fork Lift Driver Training to enhance his warehousing skills and Fairoak were involved in securing some funding to allow this to happen. Despite the Covid 19 close down, we were able to support Ed to access this training which he successfully completed in August 2020.

Despite Covid19….Ed prevailed….

The placement continued right through until the unfortunate intervention of Covid19, at which time the warehouse had to be closed. During the period of the placement the management of the company took a very keen interest in him and his progress, and were always extremely supportive of the programme.

When it became clear that the placement could not continue, the Employment team and The Furniture Warehouse(FWH) got their heads together and decided it would be possible to offer Ed a place in The FWH team on the resumption of the service(s) in July of this year. As you can imagine Ed was delighted to be given the opportunity and he completed his SI placement working in the warehouse, the collections team and also some time in the Community Works team.

Also during this period, Ed was supported by 2 of the Employment Team’s other programmes- Journey2Work and Building Better Opportunities (BBO) – and they supported him to access an employment opportunity at the local Lakeland warehouse as a warehousing apprentice. After successfully completing a week long assessment and training he has been offered the apprenticeship.

Lift off!

Eds story represents a great illustration of how several of our teams have co-operated and communicated with each other to ensure the best possible outcome for our learner.

Jim Thorburn, Employment Tutor

Karl's hitting Top Gear

A “Roving” Karl goes

2020 has been an uphill struggle for everyone, but despite all the challenges we have faced, our Furness R2W Work & Learn team have continued to work hard and do everything possible to help last year’s students secure employment opportunities after their Supported Internship placements came to an abrupt stop in March this year during the Lockdown.

Employment Advisor, Claire Round:

“Karl is the latest student to achieve success, despite the COVID19 Pandemic and despite having his own personal challenges.

Karl began his journey with R2W last September. He had previously completed his Level 1 and Level 2 Automotive Technician Training and came on board with the Supported Internship scheme to hopefully secure a paid Apprenticeship Role in which he could complete his Level 3 Qualification and begin his career as an Automotive Technician.

With the help of the Furness Team Karl secured a placement first with Chris Molyneux in Dalton and then he spent several months on placement with Cartech in Barrow in Furness. Karl was just getting into his stride at Cartech earlier this year when COVID19 sadly resulted in him and his fellow students having to leave their placements and lockdown at home.”

So what happened Claire?

“In an effort to make up for lost time, Karl and his fellow students returned to the Work & Learn team in Furness this September for a final term with and since then, with the support of his Job Coaches, Karl has applied for various roles at Kwikfit, Halfords and then more recently Lakes Land Rover in Torver, Coniston, all whilst volunteering at Emlyn Street Tyres in Barrow to keep his skills current and up to date.

Karl was recently asked to attend a 2 day work trial at Lakes Land Rover and 24 hours later he was told the great news that he had secured the job. Karl is now looking forward to starting his new career as a Level 3 Apprentice Auto Technician for the prestigious Lakes Land Rover Dealership in Coniston and he could not be more excited.”

R2W Work & Learn Furness team operate the Supported Internship scheme in partnership with Furness College and Karl is one of four students who started in September 2019. Three out of the four of the students who started in September last year have now secured paid work and we hope to be able to report good news in the future about the fourth. This is a tremendous win for Karl, Furness College and the R2W Furness Team.

In "Cameron Country"

R2W Job Coach Chloe Gill: “This is Cameron…he’s been on a Supported Internship placement out in West Cumbria.”

As you can see he’s been busy in the warehouse at Aspatria Country Story.

Cameron’s ‘stock’ is rising thanks to R2W!

Making sure customers orders are ready and everything is where it should be.

Learning about how a warehouse works, the logistics involved etc.

“Can I help you” -A job well done – true satisfaction!

Holding up well - that's our Dec

Taking pride in his work – no wonder – he likes it!

Meet Dec – he has been on a highly successful Supported Internship.

He is really interested in cars, car body work and repair. So R2W worked with Dec to identify possible placements and looked at supporting his interviews skills as well as workplace behaviour and other employability support.

He secured a placement with “Little Tony’s Tyres” in Barrow-in-Furness which began in November 2020.

Dec has worked hard to develop his skills. He has worked through vehicle tyre repair tasks repeatedly to get to know the process and be confident with it. During placement he has been supported by Job Coaches in the Furness R2W team and the staff at Little Tony’s.

During placement Dec has demonstrated responsibility, pride in his work, initiative and commitment to the tasks he completes. He is very enthusiastic and listens to the support, advice and guidance of all staff.  He Has also been supported to open his own bank account and is learning how to budget his own expenses.

And guess what…..

We are pleased to say that through the support of Little Tony’s, the R2W team and Dec’s commitment he has secured paid employment through the kickstart scheme with Little Tony’s!

What a great tread: Something he’ll never get ‘tyred of’ –  the seal of approval