Are you aged 16 to 24? Do you hold an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan)? Do you want to move into employment and need extra support and training to do so? At North Notts College in Worksop within their FLEX department, they offer the Supported Internship programme to help with that.
What is the Support Internship programme? The Supported Internship programme offers young people with SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) the opportunity to take their first steps into sustainable employment.
At North Notts College, they do this by helping to identify the skills that employers’ value and helping young people to develop them. The students will spend time in college and in the workplace. Internship students will also have the opportunity to complete a specific short qualification to support progression in their desired job sector, for example Customer Service, Business Administration, Retail Services, First Aid and Food Hygiene.
As part of the course students also undertake volunteering opportunities, allowing them to work in the local community, gaining valuable experience and skills. Since September, their students have volunteered at Worksop’s Got Talent, the Priory Tree Festival, they have organised an afternoon tea to raise money for the Royal British Legion and they also work weekly with the Woodland Trust at Idle Valley doing valuable conservation work.
The Internship can be run over two years – the first year being a Pre-supported Internship. During the first year staff will work, student focused, on building a picture of the students, their skills, their employment goals and also work with volunteer organisations and employers to build the students’ work experience, life skills and their confidence.
At the moment they have students who are gaining experience in several workplaces and in volunteering roles.
Alyssa has always wanted to work with animals and when exploring job roles in this area she decided that she would like to work with a dog groomer. Alyssa is now gaining valuable experience working at Wagz Pet Boutique and Hydrotherapy Centre in Worksop. Alyssa is loving her role and her Job Coach Rachel has said that Alyssa is thriving, she is picking up new skills weekly and has integrated really well into the work environment.
In November students worked with the organiser of local talent show Worksop’s Got Talent to help set up the arena for the event. They worked for two days in the lead-up to the event and then in the evening at the event, greeting guests, checking tickets and selling raffle tickets. This was great experience of working within a busy noisy environment and the students gained valuable customer service experience.
Second year student Jack is working with Store and Fulfil, a local company that sells an online range of confectionery, gift wrap and inflated balloons. He is in the packing department and will move round the different work areas learning all parts of his role.
Young people with special educational needs and disabilities deserve the same opportunities as everyone else and with the Supported Internship programme, the primary focus is on what can be achieved rather than what can’t. In North Notts, there are talented students who need the opportunity and chance to show just what amazing things they are capable of.
If you are an employer or a prospective student, contact North Notts College to find out more about the Supported Internship programme. Call Sam Ferrol (Job Coach / Supported Internship Placement Coordinator) on 01909 504786, Nicola Riley (Curriculum Team Leader) on 01909 504560 or Tanya Gerstmar (Head of SEND and High Needs) on 01703 513333 ext 1021.