facebook noscript

Supported Internships

student smiling holding a plate

Will you join Barnsley College in a new initiative that will help young people with a disability/learning difficulty enjoy the benefits of employment?

We are looking for local businesses, both large and small, to provide unpaid work opportunities to help young people develop employability skills whilst making a positive contribution to the business.

Here are some general flyers we have on our Supported Internships for you to browse:

What is a Supported Internship?

A Supported Internship is a structured programme of study undertaken by a young person aged 16-24 with learning difficulties or disabilities who has a real desire to work.

It is a job specially adapted to meet the skills and ability of an individual whilst fulfilling a genuine business need for the employer.

The Supported Internship programme combines unpaid work with an employer and time in college to gain other skills such as maths, English, ICT, Health and Safety and job search skills.
The overall aim is to equip those young people who may not be quite ready for an apprenticeship with the skills they need to progress in the workplace.

What does it involve?

Barnsley College will work closely with the employer to produce a bespoke programme tailored to the individual needs of the young person and the business. It will run from September until July.

A member of staff (Job Coach) will mentor the young person and spend time with them in the workplace to offer hands-on support with their duties as they gain confidence and settle in to their new role.

The job may be from two to seven hours a day for one, two or three days a week, depending on the ability of the individual. The aim is to be as flexible as possible to ensure that both the young person and the business get the most from the experience.

What can you expect from someone with a learning disability in your workplace?

If someone has a learning disability, it doesn’t mean that they can’t learn.

They may learn more slowly than some people, but will often learn more carefully and may perform tasks better over time. The College Job Coach will support the young person to learn their new tasks and help them understand new situations alongside a ‘buddy’ from your organisation.

What kind of work can a person with a learning difficulty do?

All individuals have different skills and will therefore be able to do many different kinds of jobs. While we encourage you to keep an open mind, there are some general guidelines about the types of jobs that would be best suited:

  • Jobs that require practical skills that can be learned through practice and repetition.
  • Jobs that do not require high level qualifications.
  • Jobs that do not require a driving licence.

Placements could include working in a warehouse, catering establishment, estates, retail or administration setting. The most important aspect will be to ensure a good match between the skills and abilities of the young person and the demands of the role.

What are the benefits for your business?

Evidence shows that workers with a disability demonstrate great commitment and performance and have excellent attendance records. Studies have shown that employing people with a disability improves workforce morale and increases customer goodwill.

Your customer base will appreciate the efforts you are making to be an equal opportunities employer*.

Will there be any cost involved?

No. Barnsley College will fund any necessary costs, i.e DBS checks, that are incurred as a result of the placement.


All businesses who join the scheme will also benefit from:

  • FREE Disability Awareness Training in the workplace.
  • FREE Training needs analysis and recruitment needs support.
  • DISCOUNTED training through Barnsley College e.g short courses in Health and Safety, Food Hygiene, Manual Handling, First Aid, Customer Service, Call-Centre Training.
  • An experienced Job Coach who will offer support and guidance to the young person and the employer for the length of the programme.
  • Company information published on the Barnsley College website (which attracts approximately 17,000 unique visitors per month).

For more information please contact:

01226 216 357

*The Employers Forum on Disability

Last updated: 15th February 2024

Skip to content