Oakfield offers supported internships to SEND learners who have attended Oakfield High School and other SEND learners who have attended mainstream secondary schools in Wigan.
Whilst completing a supported internship the young person will follow a structured study programme and experience with an employer. An internship allows young people aged 16-24 with a statement of SEN, or an Education, Health and Care plan to achieve sustainable paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need for work, through learning in the workplace.
Alongside their time at the employer, young people complete a personalised study programme which includes the chance to study for relevant substantial qualifications, English and Maths
Whilst the ideal outcome from a supported internship will be the offer of a paid job from an employer, possibly the employer who hosted the intern’s work placement, other outcomes include:
- building up experience for a CV, demonstrating that the young person has the skills and willingness to work;
- changing the perception of employers about employing people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities;
- changing the perception of the young person’s that they can work;
- improving skills in English and Math that enable the young person to be better prepared for work, including handling money, interacting with the public, and practising interview skills; and
- Developing the skills needed to travel independently to and from a place of work
Supported internships at Oakfield follow this model:
Year 12 – The young people will have the opportunity to build on any qualifications gained in Year 11, around Maths and English. They will also study a range of vocational qualifications, enrichment activities and complete some travel training in preparation for the work place. Qualifications may include Basic First Aid, Health and Safety Awareness, Basic Food Hygiene and other work related qualifications. Resilience and confidence building are built into the Year 12 curriculum. During the year the job coach will work closely with the group and identify suitable placements for year 13 and whilst building links and visits with employers.
Year 13 – During year 13 the learners will have a split timetable where 60% of the time will be spend at the place of employment, developing the required knowledge and skills. The remaining 40% will be studying Maths and English alongside a range of qualifications linked to their employment opportunity. Throughout year 13 the job coach will conduct regular visits to review the placement and ensure that the right support is in place for both the young person and the employer. By the end of year 13 the young people will have the required skills and experience to successfully apply for jobs with support either with their hosted employer or in the wider workplace.