Internships and supported internships

An internship is another name for a work placement or work experience with an employer.

Some interns are employed by a company and receive regular pay; other interns are volunteers gaining valuable work experience as a stepping stone to the job they want.

If you are doing an internship for less than one year through a further education college, you are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage.

If you are doing your internship through a charity, voluntary organisation, fund-raising body or statutory body as a volunteer, you will not be paid except for limited benefits, for example travel or lunch expenses.

Supported internships

If you are 16-24-years-old, have an education, health and care (EHC) plan and want to work, a supported internship will provide you with the extra support you need to achieve your goal.

A supported internship is a one-year study programme that will help you to get the skills and experience you need to succeed.

On a supported internship, you will spend at least six months in an unpaid work placement with an employer. You will also have a personal study programme. This gives you the chance to gain useful qualifications, which could include English and maths.

A supported internship is very similar to a traineeship or apprenticeship. The main difference is that you will be offered a higher level of support than a trainee or apprentice, and this will include work place support through a job coach.

There are no entry or completion requirements for supported internships. The aim is simply to prepare you for paid employment by:

  • Supporting you to develop the skills valued by employers
  • Enabling you to show what you can do in the workplace
  • Developing your confidence in your own ability to perform successfully at work

The ideal outcome is for you to be offered a paid job from your host employer or another employer.

Other outcomes you may also achieve are:

  • Work experience to add to your CV
  • Changing the perception of employers about people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities
  • Changing the perception of your family/friends by showing that you can work
  • Improving your English and maths skills to prepare you for work and independent living
  • Becoming an independent traveller

Project Search supported internship

In Norfolk, two of our local colleges offer the Project Search study programme. This is a type of supported internship.

The programme is delivered in partnership with Serco, Norse and our local hospitals:

  • Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Norwich
  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn
  • James Paget University Hospital, Great Yarmouth

Find out more about the supported internship opportunities: