Specialist Supported Internship Study Programme

Who is it for?

Hedleys College Supported Internship is a new study programme building on the college’s brilliant success of supporting students with severe/complex disabilities into employment.

The programme is for interns aged 16-24 years old (with Education Health and Care Plan) who want to move into employment.

What is it?

It is a personalised study programme based at one of our tried and trusted external employers premises. The programme is designed for young people with severe and complex needs, equipping them with skills for the future world of work to match students’ long term career goals.

The programme involves on-the-job training provided by the college work experience job coaches and specialist support from the college therapy team.

Young people can choose from a range of qualifications and awards to match their own career goals and all interns take part in structured study to improve their ICT, communication and numeracy skills. Life skills training for mobility and travel is available from College tutors and Instructors.

Hedleys College Specialist Support

Hedleys already provides outstanding services to local employers and young disabled people through the College and Percy Hedley Foundation Employability Project. The Employability Project has been established since 2008 and offers training and support to local employers who work with us.

Adam’s Journey to Work

Hedleys Specialist Supported Internship is a study programme where young people can learn about the workplace by being in work. Supported Specialist Internships are a unique opportunity for young disabled people to combine work with their education.

Adam’s journey initially started with a 6 week vocational placement back in 2017. Within the first few weeks of Adam’s placement, Percy Hedley and Dobbie’s staff recognised Adam’s strengths and strong work ethics. With on-going support from College and the Employability Project the relationship flourished.

In September 2018, Adam returned to Dobbie’s, this time as a part of his Supported Internship programme, and with the fantastic support from our trained Job Coaches, he succeeded and achieved paid work. Not only has Adam increased his social networks, having Adam at Dobbie’s in Morpeth, has also benefited the employer and staff members, to raise awareness as to what disabled young people can  achieve. Employing disabled people provides a more diverse workforce and improves staff awareness of disability issues.

The Catering Manager at Dobbie’s explains:

“We’ve found that disabled employees are committed and eager to achieve, have good attendance records, they are punctual, loyal and stick at their jobs.  It’s good to have Adam in our team”.

Amanda Gregson, Hedleys Work Experience Coordinator added:

‘It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Adam and see how he has grown in both confidence and independence- initially he needed a lot of support and prompts; however through his hard work, great attitude and work ethos he has become very independent and capable at his carved job role. The staff are very supportive and it is evident Adam is a popular member of the team’.

Adam ‘s feedback is: ‘I enjoy going to work. I am a busy guy and the staff are always friendly and helpful. It’s great’.

Dionne Smith from Percy Hedley’s Employability says – ‘My advice to employers is to have a diverse workforce that is representative of your community’.


To find out more about Department for Education and Access to Work funding please follow this link