Options available for young people with SEND to help them successfully gain employment once they leave full-time education.

Supported Internship

What is a supported internship?

A supported internship is a study programme that includes an unpaid work experience offered by a local employer which will last between 6 and 12 months. This may be a suitable route for you if you are aged 16 to 24 years old and have an education, health and care plan (EHCP) or learning difficulty assessment and want to move into employment but need extra support to do so.

There are no entry or completion requirements, and each learning provider will work with you to develop a personalised programme that meets your needs and provides progression.

Although similar in aims to a traineeship or apprenticeship, supported internships differ in certain ways. On a supported internship you are expected to require a higher level of support than a trainee or apprentice, and will be offered work-place support in form of a job coach, as well as support for your non-work place learning.

The aim of the supported internship is to prepare you for paid employment.

Supported internships: easy read guide

What is good about a supported internship?

  • It supports you to develop the skills valued by employers
  • It enables you to demonstrate your value in the work place
  • You develop confidence in your own abilities to perform successfully at work
  • You can build up experience for a CV, demonstrating that you have the skills and willingness to work
  • It can help to change the perception of employers about employing people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities
  • It can help to change the perception of your family – proving that you can work
  • You can improve your skills in English and maths, enabling you to be better prepared for work, including handling money, interacting with the public and practising interview skills
  • You can learn to become an independent traveller.


What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a program that trains a worker to become skilled in a particular trade. Apprenticeships combine hands-on work with classroom learning to train the apprentice. Apprenticeships are considered full-time employment. As the apprentice is learning, they are also applying the lessons through working.

Levels of apprenticeship

Apprenticeships have equivalent educational levels:

Name Level Equivalent educational level
Intermediate 2 5 GCSE passes at grades A* to C (or 9 to 4 on the new scale)
Advanced 3 2 A level passes
Higher 4, 5, 6 and 7 Foundation degree and above
Degree 6 and 7 Bachelor’s or master’s degree

Who can apply?

You can apply for an apprenticeship while you’re still at school. To start one, you’ll need to be:

  • 16 or over
  • not in full-time education
  • living in England.

What is good about an apprenticeship?

  • You will work alongside experienced staff
  • You gain job-specific skills
  • You earn a wage and get holiday pay
  • You study towards a related qualification (usually one day a week)
  • You’re not left with large ‘uni’ debts when you have completed the course.

Applying for an apprenticeship

Doncaster Council and Doncaster College both offer apprenticeships. Alternatively, you can find an apprenticeship on the gov.uk website. 

Voluntary / Work Placements

There are lots of volunteering opportunities in Doncaster for those wanting to gain work experience. There are many benefits of volunteering, including improving your self confidence and gaining new skills and experience. 

Local Supported Employment Scheme

The Department of Work and Pensions is teaming up with Community Autism and Learning Disability Team (CALDT) to support people in Doncaster to find a job and stay in work. The scheme aims to help people with Learning Disabilities or Autism to learn new skills and flourish in the workplace.

Find out more about the Local Supported Employment scheme for Adults with Autism or Learning Disability.

Start in Doncaster

Start in Doncaster is aimed at 13 to 19 year olds, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). It provides young people with a range of learning opportunities and accurate, up-to-date careers information to help them make well informed choices at 14 and / or 16 years of age. 

Finding Work

Mencap have produced some easy to read guides covering the following topic areas:

  • Finding a job or work experience
  • Application forms and CVs
  • Going to a job interview
  • Starting work

You can also visit the National Careers Service website to gain information on finding and staying in work if you have special educational needs or a disability.

Support in Work

Health Adjustment Passport

The Health Adjustment Passport can be used if you have a disability or health condition that makes it harder for you to move into work or stay in a job*.

You can use it to:

  • support you to identify what support and changes (known as reasonable adjustments) you may need when you are in work or moving into work
  • apply for support from Access to Work. This could include funding for specialist equipment to support you to do your job, support getting to and from work or support when you are in work, such as job coaching
  • help you talk to employers about adjustments and in-work support that you may need

*A job could also include self-employment, an apprenticeship, work experience or a supported internship.

Access to Work

Access to Work can help you get or stay in work if you have a physical or mental health condition or disability.

The support you get will depend on your needs. Through Access to Work, you can apply for:

  • a grant to help pay for practical support with your work
  • support with managing your mental health at work
  • money to pay for communication support at job interviews

My Employment Plan

Employment Is For Everyone is a social movement aiming to improve the employment opportunities for autistic people and people with a learning disability. 

My Employment Plan is a tool created by people with lived experience and employment organisations across South Yorkshire to help a person and their employer talk about and agree things that might help them both in the work place.


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Last updated: 01 May 2024 09:02:38

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