14 colleges selected to trial supported internships this year
The Government has announced that 14 English colleges are to trial supported internships in the coming acaedmic year as part of the Next Steps reforms.
From this autumn supported internships are being trialled at 14 colleges around England for young people aged between 16 and 25 who have complex learning difficulties or disabilities. The trials will test a study programme for supported internships that could be adopted by all further education colleges from September 2013.
The colleges selected to trial the internships are:
* Hull College (Kingston upon Hull City Council);
* Blackburn College (Lancashire);
* Mid-Cheshire College Of Further Education (Cheshire West and Chester Council);
* Shipley College (Bradford Metropolitan District Council);
* Stephenson College (North West Leicestershire District Council);
* Otley College Of Agriculture And Horticulture (Suffolk County Council);
* North Warwickshire and Hinckley College (Warwickshire);
* Plumpton College, special college - Agriculture and horticulture (East Sussex);
* Thanet College (Kent);
* Bexley College (London Borough of Bexley);
* Bicton College, (Devon);
* Somerset College Of Arts And Technology (Somerset);
* Worcester College Of Technology, general FE College (Worcester City Council);
* Queen Alexandra College, independent specialist provider (Birmingham City Council).
The supported internships trial, backed by £3 million from the Department for Education, will provide a structured learning programme at an employer, like a restaurant, library or clothes retailer, that is tailored to the individual needs of the young person. It will equip them with the skills they need for the job, backed by expert job coaches to support interns and employers, and give them a chance to study for relevant qualifications. The programme gives them the platform to break down negative attitudes and show employers what they can do.
Giving these young people experience of work allows the young adults to boost their confidence and empowers them to become more independent. Sarah Teather, Minister for Children and Families, said:
"This is about helping young people with complex needs learn the skills they need for the workplace within a real job situation. We have to be more ambitious and tap into huge potential in people with learning needs. We can’t leave the most vulnerable on the scrapheap, without a way of getting a job and being able to live as independently as they can. With appropriate mentoring, even young people with complex needs can shine in a successful business."