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What a supported internship is

Supported internships are structured, work-based study programmes for 16 to 24-year-olds with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) who have an education, health and care plan (EHCP).

The aim of a supported internship is a substantial work placement with the support of an expert job coach.

Supported interns are enrolled and supported by a learning provider, such as a school or college, but spend most of their learning time (around 70%) in a workplace.

The internships provide the opportunity for young people to achieve sustained, paid employment by giving them with the skills they need for work, through learning in the workplace.

Supported interns are in full-time education and their supported internship work placements are part of their course.

Legally, a supported internship does not have to be paid. Supported internships are exempt from the National Minimum Wage regulation.

Supported internships last for 6 months, and up to a year.

Long-term career goals

The supported internship should contribute to the long-term career goals of the young person and match their capabilities.

Alongside their time with the employer, supported interns complete a personalised study programme delivered by the school or college, which includes the chance to study for relevant qualifications, if appropriate, and English and maths at an appropriate level.

Every young person is supported in the work placement by a trained job coach, put in place by their education provider.

The job coach provides in-work support that tapers off, if appropriate, as the supported intern becomes familiar with their role.

Job coaches also work with employers, increasing their confidence in employing individuals with additional needs and helping them to create and support a diverse workforce.

Find out more on GOV.UK's supported internships page.

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Our supported internships

In Medway, supported internships are delivered by 3 partners:

  • Forward2Employment
  • Bemix
  • MidKent College.


Forward2Employment is an organisation that provides supported internships for students aged 16 to 24 years who have an EHCP. It believes that every young person in Medway deserves to be given the opportunity to fulfil their potential and have a place within the community.

Supported internships are a year-long programme that help young people with a special educational need or disability to gain meaningful employment. The young person is helped for the year by their job coach.

Find out more


Bemix is an organisation that aims to make sure we live in a world where every single person is valued.

Bemix provides supported internships to ensure that people with learning difficulties or autism are working and learning together.

Their supported internships allow people of any ability or background to:

  • develop their skills
  • access a free job matching service
  • make friends.

Their supported internships are year-long programmes aimed at people aged 17 to 24 with an EHCP.

Find out more

MidKent College

MidKent College is a college in Kent providing supported internships for 16 to 24 year olds with SEND, with an EHCP. The internships provide the opportunity for young people to achieve sustained, paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need for work, through learning in the workplace and supported by an expert job coach.

Find out more