The value of supported internships

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Totton College is our further education college in Southampton. It offers a Skills for Life programme which helps students with special learning needs and disabilities develop life skills, engage in work experience and workplace skills development and undertake education.

A community centred college

At Totton College, we work hard to ensure we’re integrated as part of the local community. We want to celebrate how we work with local employers to offer work opportunities to our students with a wide range of learning disabilities.

We believe the solution to many problems faced by young people with a learning disability, autism spectrum condition, or both is straightforward: meaningful employment and work.

Our Supported Internship Programme supports learners with a range of disabilities to develop skills for work. It does this by providing each learner with a Job Coach who works with them to find employment by supporting them with the application, interview, and training process.

Our links with local employers provide learners with the opportunity to explore possible career paths, as well as meet the local business need.

This year, we have had over 16 local businesses involved in our programme, ranging from local radio, to bookshops, supermarkets, and the local highways agency.

Bradbeers, who took on an intern, said: ‘I am thankful that Totton College approached me to ask if I would consider a placement for a young man. It has helped me find a reliable, hardworking employee that has become an excellent addition and very well thought of member of the Bradbeers team. I will definitely consider this option again as the process was very easy and the support offered by his job coach made the process from internship to employment a very positive experience.”

Do supported internships work?

Our learners also undertook engagement visits and community volunteering days. Engagement visits involved learners visiting business such as Barclays and the Employment Hub in Southampton. Here business leaders can help young people with interview skills, workplace social skills and interactions, and provide CV tips. All of which are skills that will help when it comes to applying for jobs and work.

Annabelle* said: “I’ve learned a lot since I started the course from learning how to do cover letters and CVs, to mock interviews and applying for jobs online. This has given me confidence to go out on a work placement to a local Library in Lordshill. It’s given me confidence to meet new people, interact with them, and find out what role they do in their jobs.”

For more information on our Skills for Life courses see here

For more information on Totton College see here