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Plymouth employers pledge to offer supported internships

Employers in Plymouth are committing to helping young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) develop new skills through supported internships.

Supported internships are a structured, work-based study programme for 16 to 25-year-olds with SEND who also have an education, health and care plan.

The internships include a work placement alongside a study programme at a local learning provider such as a school or college, with extra support provided by an expert job coach.

This gives young people the opportunity to equip themselves with the skills they need for work through hands-on experience, helping them to gain paid employment in the future.

The number of supported internship placements offered in Plymouth has grown rapidly in the last year following a dedicated effort to encourage more employers to get involved. There are currently 60 placements offered across the city, compared to just nine available in March 2023.

Plymouth City Council directly provides 11 supported internship placements each year and is looking to increase this number year-on-year.

Councillor Sally Cresswell, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Apprenticeships, said: “Supported internships are incredibly valuable for young people with SEND, giving them the opportunity to develop essential skills that they need to succeed in the workplace in a supportive, nurturing environment that takes into account any adjustments that they need to thrive.

“It’s fantastic to see so many city employers joining us in our pledge to help our young people transition into the world of work.”

Local training providers and employers including Babcock, Plessey, Arts University Plymouth, Plymouth Waterfront Partnership and Plymouth City Centre Company signed a pledge to show their commitment to helping young people access these valuable placements at the city’s recent Supported Internship Summit.  

The summit brought together members of the Plymouth SEND Employment Forum and representatives from business and organisations in Plymouth who are keen to support young people with SEND.

Young people currently taking part in supported internships also celebrated their achievements at a recent event, which was planned for and organised by the young people themselves.

If you would like to know more about supported internships, email


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