Supported internships are an individualised study programme which are delivered in partnership between Wiltshire College and Wiltshire Employment Support Team. They help young people gain practical experience and work skills to give them a realistic chance of getting paid employment.
Zac is doing very well; we can see the difference in him already. I feel his personality is starting to shine through. I feel he's feeling comfortable with us all now am pleased with him and hoping he will move on with more skills and tasks as he gets settled more. - Café Manager
What to expect
The Supported Internship year will be your last year at college and will act as a transition from education to employment.
Who supported internships are for
The programme includes on-the-job training, with the support and expertise of experienced job coaches, and college-based learning with access to any relevant qualifications needed for the job you would like to do. This is a course for learners aged 18 - 24 who have an EHCP, and need more support than would normally be available through the Wiltshire Employment Support Team (WEST). Applicants should have completed some work experience and ideally should be able to provide a reference.
How to apply
Choose the college where you would like to study and complete a college application form.
Wiltshire College Supported Internship
The application window is October until the 31 January 2024. The college will invite the shortlisted candidates to an interview in February and successful applicants will know approximately two weeks later.
The Wiltshire model for Supported Internships focusses on paid employment as the desired outcome.
The ideal outcome will be the offer of paid employment from an employer, possibly the employer who hosted the interns work placement.
We see 10 clear aims for Wiltshire Supported Internships:
- Job Outcome; 16+ hours where possible
- To be more employable by the end of the year than you were at the beginning
- Supporting interns to develop skills valued by an employer
- Enabling interns to demonstrate their value in the workplace
- Developing confidence in abilities to perform successfully at work
- Building experience for a CV, demonstrating the young person has the skills and willingness to work
- Changing the perception of employers about employing young people with SEN
- Changing the perception of others that young people with SEN can work if they are committed
- Improving skills in English and maths that enable the young person to be better prepared for work, including; handling money, interacting with the public and practicing interview skills
- Becoming independent travellers
Zac had worked with Community Connecting, who supported him to move into voluntary work that he enjoyed. He applied for a place with Wiltshire Supported Internships (WSI), that acts as the final year of education, looking at real employment opportunities and preparing for life after college. WSI is a partnership between Wiltshire college and Wiltshire Employment support team, who provided Zac with a job coach. Zac has ADHD and needs quite a lot of support in his daily life.
Zac was supported to learn the bus route to and from college where Zac has to change buses and ensure he has the correct ticket for travel. This involved quite a lot of training however, Zac learned his route and how to ensure he always had the correct ticket. Zac's job coach then took him to see a local employer in Wootton Bassett close to where he lives to get an idea of what a local employer could offer.
Part of the WSI course is to spend time working under placement conditions learning new and transferable skills for work. This is known as a 'Working Interview'. Zac asked some good questions and enjoyed the visit. Soon after, Zac`s job coach contacted Sandra at Compass who have the contract for the Café at Asda Supercentre Swindon. Sandra employs another one of WEST`s customers there and was open to give Zac a try at the café. Zac started his working interview at the Asda café where he clears tables and takes orders to customers. He does this twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays working 11am-3pm. Zac has received some very positive customer feedback so far and always works with a smile on his face.
Supported by Alastair
Wiltshire Employment Support Team
Jordan first came to work with WEST in September 2019 through the Wiltshire Supported Internship programme run in conjunction with Wiltshire College. Jordan has autism with associated learning difficulties and can find it hard to retain information, so his job coach focused on memory sessions and interview practice to prepare Jordan for interviews and undertaking an intern role. During this time Jordan also received travel training learning how to use the local bus service.
Really lovely individual, very hard worker. Good social skills and always has positive interactions with our customers. - Mainly's
In January 2020 Jordan started his 12-week 'working interview' placement at Mainly's hardware store in Devizes as a Customer Assistant, learning how to use the cashier tills, replenish stock, unload deliveries, and engage with customers; informing them of current and upcoming promotions. Due to Covid, Jordan's internship year was interrupted, and he completed his 12 weeks in December of 2020. Mainly's were unable to offer Jordan employment however their feedback was very positive. Jordan continued to be supported by WEST once the internship programme had finished and became competent in searching for jobs. It was Jordan's wish to continue his employment progress within the retail sector and after a few unsuccessful interviews, Jordan was offered a 6- month contract on the Kickstart scheme for Superdrug in Devizes as a Customer Assistant. Jordan started this role towards the end of January 2022, he travelled independently to and from work on the bus, he was trained on the till system, how to upsell promotional products and sign customers up to the loyalty card and completed all of his online learning that involved health and safety and Challenge 25. Jordan quickly became known as a reliable and committed member of the team, performing well with his strike rate on Star Buys at the till and meeting targets for new customers signed up for Superdrug's beauty card.
The Kickstart contract ended in July 2022 and Jordan was offered a permanent contract to stay at Superdrug which Jordan readily accepted. The manager Liam commented that Jordan is settled at Superdrug and really enjoys his job. He
has a sense of stability, his confidence has grown saying "I really like it here, I hit my targets most days".
Well done, Jordan!
excels at selling, he regularly hits the top spot and outperforms the rest of the team" and I know that if I ask Jordan to do a job he will do it to the best of his ability, every time, without exception. - Store Manager
Supported by Jenna
Wiltshire Employment Support Team
This is Samuel, one of our candidates from our supported internship program. This collaboration between WEST and Wiltshire college is designed to progress students with learning disabilities and autism into paid employment. Samuel has utilised his opportunity from the program and completed a successful working Interview, resulting in paid employment.
Samuel has a diagnosis of autism and had achieved GCSE grades, although had little work experience and struggled with looking and applying for jobs. Samuel started working with Wiltshire Employment Support Team a short while before the academic year started, identifying he would like to be in a retail or cleaning environment.
The job coach sourced employers and arranged an interview with Curry's in Trowbridge. Samuel attended the interview and performed extremely well, securing a working interview position as a Support Colleague for up to a maximum of 12 weeks as a supported intern. Samuel was supported in the workplace by his job coach until his independence grew; the management at Curry's provided a buddy system for him and before long, he was working independently within the warehouse. Samuel received fantastic training and became a valued member of the team. The Manager became so impressed by Samuel, that after four weeks, he was offered a temporary contract for paid employment. He learnt how to clock in, use the online employee portal, be responsible for keeping his uniform clean and how financial independence could benefit his future. He built good working relationships with the team, actively engaging in conversations, and approaching colleagues without prompting.
Although they were unable to offer a permanent job, the team were incredibly supportive and gave him glowing reviews at the end of his contract. Samuel has a newfound confidence and is aware of the skills he gained and how valuable his experience at Curry's had been. Samuel and his job coach started actively searching for work and Samuel secured three interviews. He was offered a role as a cleaner in a school which he was keen to accept and started work immediately. Samuel was coached into his role and is now working confidently and receiving great feedback from his supervisor and the Head Teacher of the school.
Samuel is currently content within his new role, and he is a committed and hardworking employee.
Supported by Jenna
Wiltshire Employment Support Team