It’s National Supported Internship Day - Cambridge Regional College
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It’s National Supported Internship Day

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National Supported Internship Day was launched in 2023. It is the first national celebration of supported internships in the UK and is held annually on 27th March. We offer the Supported Internship programme at CRC and love seeing our learners develop with us and on their placements as they develop their skills and confidence for working life.

What is a supported internship?

At CRC a supported internship is a work-based study programme for 19-24 year olds with SEND, who have an education, health and care (EHC) plan.

Facilitated by the support of a professional Job Coach, the aim of the study programme is for supported learners to enrol on a substantial work placement.

How does CRC help Supported Interns?

Supported interns are enrolled and supported by a learning provider, a school, or a college like Cambridge Regional College.

Our Supported Learning team collaborates with the interns to find suitable part-time work, full-time, volunteer roles and even further study opportunities when they finish the programme. We provide a range of initiatives to support the interns and help them to grow in confidence and become more independent.

Andrew had his first placement at a café where he built his confidence, and he now works in a local toyshop with stores across the UK. Initially he had travel training with one of our Job Coaches, and he now goes to work independently using a guided busway.

Andrew said, “I came on this course incredibly nervous I was quiet at first, I started talking to people about myself and got to know new people and what they like the staff are friendly and exceptionally good at putting you in the right direction for work placement.”

Bespoke pathways

At CRC we pride ourselves on providing our supported interns with a bespoke pathway. Students have a choice of where they go, and where possible, placements are built around their interests and career aspirations. For instance, a learner who wants to be a mechanic has found a placement in a mechanic’s garage, and another who wants to be a dog groomer, has secured a placement with a nationwide pet store and grooming provider.

Some students might have more than one job through us including part-time paid work, or they might start, for example, working in a café, then move to another placement. All supported learning students on the programme have a positive progression route.

Our Supported Learning staff are on hand to help throughout the placement providing the appropriate level of support for each individual learner.

A CRC Supported Intern said, “The job coach helps me with traveling to work and sometimes stayed at the work placement with me so that I was comfortable at being at work.”

Support to become independent

80% of our learners become independent during their Supported Internship. Travel training is crucial to help learners develop independence. Many of our interns arrive by taxi and register in the classroom at CRC before heading out to their placements.

Our Job Coaches travel with them to begin with, helping the interns to learn the journey and familiarise themselves with public transport and the route. At CRC, if people need more support, we try to get them placements nearer to their homes if possible.

Aidan works in the Buttery at one of the University of Cambridge Colleges where he serves the customers and sometimes the fellows. He says he has had a lot of support from the CRC Job Coaches and now feels part of the team where he works.

Aidan said, “At first I travelled by bus with a job coach for a few weeks to train me on travel training, now I cycle to (place of work) because it’s the transport I use most commonly for myself, the job coach’s helped a lot at first with my confidence as I was nervous at first but after a while I felt like I belonged on the team at (place of work) because of how they treated me.”

Training and development opportunities

Everyone on the programme has over one hundred hours of work placement. They also get training and development opportunities during the Supported Internship programme with CRC.

The learners come in on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays when they work with the programme Lecturer and the two Learning Support Mentors.

In addition to the skills they learn on the work placement, learners also gain an Employability Careers Qualification. In the classroom they learn how to write CVs and covering letters, and there is also a focus on developing interpersonal skills. The students do role plays and practise good interview techniques.

There is also a Job Club for programme participants who can apply for job opportunities with the guidance of the Supported Learning team.

Recently outside speakers came in every Friday for four weeks to talk about relevant employability topics.

At CRC, we provide experience in real world learning environments for our supported learning students.

Preparing learners for adulthood

Supported Internships have a transformative effect on the interns who take part.

Everything our Supported Learning team does is about preparing learners for adulthood.

At the end of the study programme, some of our students get part-time paid jobs, others secure voluntary work or go onto mainstream courses including apprenticeships.

National Supported Internship Day is a great way to celebrate the work of our team and the achievements of our learners who grow in confidence and develop essential skills for life during their placements.

To find out more about National Supported Internship Day go to National Supported Internship Day

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