Our FAQ’s

Still looking for answers? You’ve come to the right place!  

You can find answers in our list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) for both young adults and family members who are looking to  enrol onto a Willow Green programme or for potential employers looking to place one of our supported internship students.

Hopefully you’ll find the answer you are looking for. However if you are still looking to confirm some extra details, please visit our Contact page to get in touch with our team.

Young People

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a supported internship?

A supported internship is one type of study programme specifically aimed at young people aged 16 to 24 who have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan and want to move into employment but need extra support to do so.

How long does a supported internship last?

Internships normally last for around a year and include unpaid work placements of at least six months.  

Who will support me on the job during my supported internship?

Trained job coaches offer personalised support to the young people while they are in the workplace, helping them master their job role and gradually develop the confidence to work unsupported, as far as possible.  

What is Access to Work funding?

Access to Work is a grant from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which helps pay for practical support so that disabled people can do their jobs.

What does Access to Work funding pay for?
  • Specialist equipment; 
  • Adaptations to equipment; 
  • A support worker or job coach; 
  • Communication support; 
  • Excess costs of getting to work if someone is unable to use public transport or drive themselves; 
  • Disability awareness training for employers about the employee’s specific condition.

    Apply online at https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work/apply 

    What level qualification will I study?

    Our programme works towards a Level 1 qualification in Employability Skills along with functional maths and english at Entry – Level 1.

    Who pays for the course?

    Our programmes are funded by the Education & Skills Funding Agency and the Department for Education.  We also work closely with and are funded by a number of Local Authorities.

    Do I need anything before I can apply?

    All students accessing Supported Internship or Work/Life skills must have a current Education Health and Care Plan to be able to access our provision.

    Are there a set number of admissions per year?

    Places are offered on an annual basis only and are made available to those with the greatest need.  The duty to admit a student is a conditional one – an educational establishment must admit a student unless it cannot meet the needs of the student or if to admit them would compromise the effective education of the currently enrolled students.

    What is additional learning support?

    Funding for additional learning support is available to help learners gain access to, progress towards and achieve their learning goal at college.  

    Who applies for funding?

    We apply for funding towards the costs of your course.

    Is my funding conditional?

    Yes it is dependant upon approval your social worker for the Preparation for Adulthood Programme and from the High Needs Funding Panel of your Local Authority for Supported Internships and/or Life/Work Skills programmes.

    Am I guaranteed funding every year?

    No as we have to apply for funding each new academic year.

    Can I have physio?

    Yes we will incorporate your physio programme into the daily activities if this is part of your Education Health and Care Plan.

    Who funds the Preparation for Adulthood Programme?

    Following an assessment by Adult Social Care you may be able to access a place on the course via the contract in place between Willow Green and the LA or you could use your Direct Payments to pay for the weekly programme.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    What will it cost me to offer a supported internship?

    Extended work placements for supported internships are unpaid, because participating in an extended work placement is part of the young person’s programme of study at their school or college. The primary goal of a placement is to help a young person with learning difficulties to develop the skills they need for paid employment.

    Will the young person fit in to my workplace?

    If you are thinking about hosting a placement, we will work with you to understand the role you have available, to ensure the best job match between the intern and you.

    We may also suggest ‘job carving’, which means working with you to tailor the extended work placement to best meet your business needs, whilst utilising the strengths and abilities of the young person.  This might mean that tasks carried out by other employees can be given to the intern, freeing up resource for other staff.

    What happens if things go wrong?

    If the placement starts going wrong, be honest and act quickly.  Contact the job coach and explain your concerns, so that any issues can hopefully be resolved quickly.

    What do I, as an employer, need to do?

    Getting the right young person into the right job role with the right employer is critical to the success of an individual internship.  The job coach will work with you to identify a job role that fulfils a real business need for your organisation, and ensure that someone is matched to the job role for the extended work placement.  The role can develop over time as you get to know what the young person can do.

    You will need to provide effective line management and supervision of the intern as you would with other employees, although a lot of support will be provided by the job coach, especially at first.

    What support will I receive during the internship?

    The job coach will work with you to arrange the induction and settling in period, and provide as much support as is needed throughout this time.  The job coach will also support you to make any reasonable adjustments that may be needed.  As the young person becomes more confident and able, the job coach will gradually withdraw their support, but you will still be able to contact them at any time if any issues arise

    What happens at the end of the internship?

    The aim of supported internships is to prepare young people with learning difficulties for employment.  As the intern has been fulfilling a real business need in your organisation, you should consider whether you can take them on as a paid member of staff at the end of their internship.  This won’t always be possible: you may not be in a position to recruit, or the intern may not have met the required standards.  You can still play an important part in helping an intern achieve employment elsewhere, e.g. by providing a reference, recommending the intern to other employers, or giving honest feedback about the skills and/or behaviours that the young person still needs to develop.

    Do I need special insurance?

    Interns are covered by the employer’s insurance as if they were an employee.