Supported internships help young people aged 16 to 24 with learning disabilities to find paid employment.  The scheme is run by further education (FE) colleges.  While on the programme the student is known as an ‘intern’.



The college works with employers to:

  • find a job that suits you
  • create a study plan for you so you can learn the necessary skills to do the job.

Your study plan will include on the job training supported by a job coach.  The job coach also supports the employer.  Programmes can also give interns the opportunity to develop other skills, such as building your confidence or understanding money.

Katie cooks up a great future!

KatieKatie has been appointed to Blackpool’s first Supported Internship marking the start of a great career in catering.

Katie came to Progress for support to find employment after studying catering with Blackpool and the Fylde College.  Whilst at college Katie gained an FDQ Level 1 Diploma in Food Industry Skills & a Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering. Katie has a passion for catering & she was very excited when she was offered the opportunity to pursue her ideal job as an intern within the kitchen at Roseacre Primary School.

Although supported internships are not scheduled to go national until next year Progress, Blackpool Council and Blackpool and the Fylde College decided not to wait and make these opportunities available now.

This new initiative has been introduced to ensure that people who cannot access a mainstream apprenticeship programme do not miss out on the benefits of learning on and off the job.

There will be 6 places available in this pilot year.  Our second intern, Caroline took up her placement in January 2013.

All the interns will have up to a year on the programme.  The interns will be working in a real employment situation for 4 days per week and studying for a related qualification by attending college for one day per week.

The internships are designed to assist young people to choose and secure sustainable paid employment and although the programme lasts for up to a year we suspect a number of the interns will secure paid mainstream jobs before the end of the programme.

In addition to developing her catering skills Katie is also learning how to travel to and from work.

Katie’s parents said “We can’t wait for the day when she leaves the house in the morning, locks up behind her & heads to work and returns home after her shift without any support”.

Katie’s placement is going fantastically! She has truly become part of the team & her colleagues miss her when she is not there. They really feel it when she isn’t there to complete her tasks, she is so valuable to them.  The manager of the kitchen is increasing what jobs Katie does because she has got used to her jobs & has now increased speed.  Katie is on the programme for a year.