A ‘LIFE-CHANGING’ supported internships programme for young people in Warwickshire with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) has been launched.
The scheme, funded by a grant of £105,000 from the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi), will help more young people with additional needs to have more choice and control over opportunities that prepare them for adult life and employment.
Currently, only 4.8 per cent of people with SEND in the UK gain permanent paid employment in the UK, compared to 80 per cent of their peers.
Supported internships help young people aged 16-24 with an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) to achieve paid employment, giving them skills for work by learning in the workplace.
Supported internships are unpaid, and last for at least six months. Where possible, young people move into paid employment at the end of the programme.
Participants also complete a personalised study programme, including the chance to study for relevant qualifications.
Businesses who have engaged with previous programmes have reported increased levels of morale among staff, reduced sickness levels and higher productivity.
Warwickshire County Council hosting a webinar in late March to talk to businesses about the process.
The council’s education spokeswoman Coun Kam Kaur said: “A supported internship can open life changing opportunities for young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
“The funding will enable our young people to become more independent, lead a fulfilling life and be part of their community.”
It is also hoped the NDTI funding will support the development of a SEND employment forum in Warwickshire as part of the Internships Work programme, by getting feedback and future recommendations from children, young people, parents, carers, colleges, and businesses.
Visit https://tinyurl.com/4wum9bak for more information on supported internships in Warwickshire.
Visit www.ndti.org.uk for more information on the National Development Team for Inclusion.