Supported Internships are based primarily at employer’s premises with on the job training and support. More information on these programmes is available from
Preparing for Adulthood Website. The most important requirement of a Supported Internship is that the young person wants to and is ready to work, but may need extra support to do this.
As part of the personalised learning offer at Blueberry Academy, young people can access Supported Internships. These programmes have a minimum of 2 days per week in the workplace, with functional skills, independent living skills and employability offered alongside.
Interns are supported by a job coach, and support is gradually reduced as the intern becomes more independent at their tasks and duties. Blueberry works with a range of employers within the city and are currently supporting 12 internships with York St John University, City of York Council, Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust, York District Hospital and a range of other small local businesses.
The Blueberry information, advice and guidance team looks at the full range of needs a person has and supports trainees to explore employment options either with the placement provider or to apply for other opportunities which match their skills and abilities.
For more information, follow the link below to the Blueberry Website and their Facebook Page.
Who we are:
Project Choice is a Specialist Post-16 College providing a person-centred, individually-tailored Supported Internship to young adults with learning difficulties, disabilities and/or Autism. Through the Internship, 16-24 year olds gain work experience, develop independence skills and increase their employability.
What we do:
Our service is bespoke, offering tailored support to each Intern, and employment opportunities are matched to the individual’s skills. Project Choice aims to empower Interns and build their confidence as individuals in the workplace, while also offering life experience beyond their home and school environments.
What is the engagement process?
Project Choice holds formal awareness sessions at schools and other local authority venues but we are also happy to come and speak with interested young people and parents and/or carers in other settings, e.g. at home or school on a one-to-one basis.
Who can apply for the Internship?
The Internship is for 16-24 year olds with learning difficulties, disabilities and/or Autism. There are no academic requirements to join the Internship, however individuals will need to have an aspiration to work and a current Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) in place. Project Choice will need to be named in the EHCP, so parents and/or carers will need to be in discussion with the local commissioning authority for this to be arranged.
What is the assessment process?
Potential interns will be invited to a fun day for us to meet the young person and assess whether Project Choice can meet their needs.
How long is the Internship?
The Internship comprises up to three placements, lasting 10-12 weeks each, throughout the academic year. Students who successfully complete their Internship will leave the College with an employability qualification accredited by NCFE. And where appropriate, a math and English qualification at a level higher than previously achieved.
What support is provided?
Interns are supported by a Workplace Mentor, Project Coordinator and a Project Manager.
What kind of work experience roles are available to Interns?
The Project Choice Supported Internship is delivered within NHS organisations, the independent sector and private business. Project Choice Interns have provided valuable assistance in a huge variety of roles, including:
• Clinical Coding
• Human Resources
• Information Services
• Grounds Maintenance
• Domestic Services
• Post Room
• Central Stores
What does a typical week look like for a Project Choice Intern?
Interns spend four days per week in work, with one day in the classroom. In the classroom, Interns learn about employment and develop employability skills, as well as having study time to improve Maths and English.
How are staff trained to support Interns?
Project Choice offers robust stakeholder training which can include:
• Mentor training
• Mental health first aid
• Autism awareness training
• Training in systematic instruction
• Job coach training
We also use job coaches where Interns require additional support.
The College employs specialist tutors directly. We have an ESFA-approved curriculum, and all of our education provision is subject to Ofsted Inspection and DFE regulations. In January 2020 Project Choice was awarded a Good Provider Rating by Ofsted.
What support is available at the end of the Internship?
Our staff continue to support our Interns post completion of the Internship. Sustaining employment is key to us, and we are committed to helping Interns achieve their goals.
This support includes:
• Pastoral support
• Professional support in meetings, e.g. appraisals, occupational health,etc.
• Coaching preparation for progression interviews
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“Project Choice has made me have hope and also it gave me an idea of what I want to do when I leave the course”
“I feel like an adult. I have travelled to work independently, done my job and travelled home independently – just like the other workers. I’m so proud of myself, I want to keep working”
Parents and Carers:
“The Project Choice Team have gone the extra mile to help him, and I can’t thank the programme enough for helping him make steps to increase his chances of not just having a job, but of reaping all of the benefits that having a job bring”
“We are very grateful to Project Choice for the very caring and down-to-earth way they have provided for our daughter who has moderate learning disabilities and is on the autistic spectrum… We have been especially impressed that she was found a very appropriate work placement at the local hospital and that there appears to be close cooperation and coordination between the Project Choice staff and its management”
“The difference in my son is enormous; he is proud and excited to go to work. He has a purpose and it has transformed his life.”
“The student we have worked with fitted into the office atmosphere with ease. It was a great experience for both us and for him too. It was a pleasure to see his confidence grow as he became more involved in the day to day operations”
“Without exception, Project Choice students have showed an unparalleled work ethic. The time invested in their training has shown dividends in the department and it has been a pleasure working with them”
New to York and offering Supported Internships in a number of areas of interest to the young person. Only for young people who have an EHCP. Will usually be one year in duration. The programme will be personalised for each learner with possibility of up to 3 bespoke placements in particular areas of interest. Employability sessions will be offered along with functional skills or other qualifications to sit alongside work placements. Prospects say they will offer support to look for paid work towards the end of the programme.
Usually a two year programme. The first year would involve working in Café West to learn about employment skills such as rules and responsibilities, health and safety, working in a team and communication. The second year would be with an employer elsewhere in York related to what the young person wants to do. For example retail, hospitality, catering. Both years would include focused employability sessions and functional skills – either 1:1 work or small groups.
As provision develops your Specialist Careers Adviser can advise you on other options going forward. Your SCA will maintain contact with you especially around EHCP time and as young people progress through education.
For any enquiries contact Nicky Brown:
For any enquiries contact Simon Copper: