Supporting young people with a learning difficulty or a disability into work

24 July 2015

Hertfordshire County Council Youth Connexions has partnered with Further Education (FE) Colleges and employers to provide supported internships that will help young people with additional needs into employment.

The scheme provides a pathway for young people aged 16 to 24 who have an Education Health and Care plan to transition into a job.

The supported internship programme of study is offered by all four FE colleges in Hertfordshire.  It is designed to enable young people with additional needs to achieve sustainable, paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need. Most of the learning is based in the workplace within a range of employment settings. Interns are given on-the-job training by expert coaches and are expected to comply with real employment conditions.

Interns enjoy many benefits from the course, including increased confidence and motivation, improved communication skills and wider social networks.

The programme has been endorsed by both Edward Timpson, Minister of State for Children and Families and Richard Roberts, Hertfordshire County Council Executive Member for Children’s Services.  Both are featured in a newly produced film about supported internships. Edward Timpson said: “It’s troubling that only 7% of people with a moderate to severe learning difficulty are in paid work, so I’m really pleased to see Hertfordshire’s strong commitment as a national Preparing for Adulthood champion to boosting the employment outcomes for its young people with SEND”.

Watch the supported internship video, in which the young interns describe their experiences, and employers explain how the programme is benefiting them:

 Download a leaflet about the scheme, with college contact details.