Supported Internships

As a City, we have pledged to increase the number of Supported Internships available in Leeds

A cityscape of Leeds at dusk showing Bridgewater Place near the front of the image

What is a supported internship and how can it add value to your business?

A supported internship is a study programme of up to 12 months duration where young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities will work with you so that by the end of the programme they can do the job.

To be eligible young people must be aged 16 – 25 and must have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) which details the extra support they may need to help them settle into a role and learn the associated tasks.

Interns will spend up to 3 days a week on site working with you. The rest of the week will be spent with their training organisation gaining further learning in maths, English and employability skills.

The training provider will appoint a job coach who will also be on site, providing support to you and the intern. There is no charge to the employer to take on an intern. Interns do not get paid but some employers offer free food, refreshments and travel costs. The ideal outcome is a paid role, part-time or full-time, at the end of the internship. If this is not possible, employers are asked to help interns and job coaches apply for roles with other employers. Job roles are varied and can include admin, finance, data management, IT, warehousing, hospitality, retail and much more.

The benefits are numerous – both for the intern and the employer.

Benefits for interns:

• Benefit from a huge increase in self- confidence

• Feel valued and make a contribution to society

• Develop greater independence, social and communication skills

• Are able to uncover and showcase hidden talents

• Learn new skills

• Increased chances of finding meaningful employment


Benefits for employers:

• Benefit from having a diverse workforce, including people who think differently - this can lead to increased innovation and problem-solving

• Improved work culture

• Access to young adults who really want to work and have unique skills such as a systematic approach, good logical analysis and an ability to detect errors

• Realisation of equality, diversity and inclusion plan


Find out more by watching this short video

If you would like to offer supported internships:

If you are a young person or parent/carer, interested in finding out about supported internships please visit the Leeds Local Offer website for more information.