Westminster City Council Supported Internship
Do you want to get a job but need support to develop your employability skills and experience of the workplace first?
In September each year, Westminster City Council host a Supported Internship programme, in partnership with City of Westminster College and Westminster Employment, where 12 young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) have the opportunity to complete three different work rotations with the support of an expert job coach.
Supported Internships are full time education programmes (based 5 days a week in the workplace) for young people who want to get a paid job. Alongside work placements, the interns study English, maths and Entry 3/Level 1 employability qualifications one day a week in the on-site classroom at Westminster City Hall, Victoria.
The Supported Internship team is made up of three Job Coaches, Emma, Cameron and Karol. They are led by the Westminster Employment Send Team (WE*ST) Service Manager, Terrence. They are wholly dedicated to supporting young people with mild to moderate learning disabilities find employment. Each Job Coach brings specific expertise. Through on the job coaching, support developing your CV, cover letter and job applications they will ensure the interns on the programme are work ready and in the best position to move into employment.
Here are images of the staff from Westminster Employment Send Team:
Terrance - Westminster Employment Send Team (WE*ST) Service Manager
Born and raised in Canada, I moved to UK in 2013 with my British Citizenship via my Father who was born in Coventry. I have a rare physical disability known as Moebius Syndrome, which affects many of the muscles and nerves from the neck up via semi-paralysis.
I was a job coach for six years at multiple supported internships around London before joining Westminster City Council. I Studied French, History, and Education at University, with a master’s in management studies. Taught Secondary in Canada for six years, including SEN, have travelled to over 50 countries and am a proud supporter of Chelsea Football Club.
Emma- Job Coach
Success- taking the internship through its pilot year including lockdown and working with a charity using social values funding to help an intern get his first job.
Fun facts- I can see the London eye from my balcony, I recently made a YouTube channel for my cat, the most adventurous things I have done is a sky dive in Australia and a plane ride over the Grand Canyon – with snowy views.
In my job as a job coach, i spend time getting to know the interns, so I can understand their strengths and likes and use these to help them achieve the best they can in their placements.
Cameron- Job Coach
My name is Cameron MacLeod, and I am a job coach on Westminster Council’s Supported Internship Programme. My role will be to find suitable placements for the interns, supporting them whilst on placement, and assisting them in the search, application and practice of a job.
I have worked with people with disabilities for almost four years now and have also worked for an MP.
I am currently studying a masters alongside my work, and I like to go surfing when I can!
My main success has been building the Inclusive apprenticeship programme into something that can be sustained for interns in the years to come.
Karol- Job Coach
Hello, my name is Karol.
I have been working with people with learning disabilities since I came to UK in 2005. Right now, I am working as a WE*ST job coach and I am supporting young people on their journey into a world of paid employment.
I am a big fun of football, exercising, video games and manga, especially One Piece, which I can recommend to everyone. Best manga ever.
I am responsible for employer engagement, liaising with employers and mentors, setting up work placements for our interns and then providing them with on and off the job support, just to mention a few. The on and off the job support is the bread and butter of my daily activities which I like the best as it allows me to interact with young individuals and witness how they develop into more confident and independent professionals.
Supported Internships are suited to young people who:
- Want to get a paid job
- age 16-24
- have an EHC plan
- Entry 1 – Level 1 English and maths
- Independent traveller /or realistic prospect with travel training
Applications for the 2021-22 Supported Internship Programme will open in March. Applications will close 13th May. A Skills / Recruitment Day will take place late May and final group selected and notified in June. Please find the application form on the Downloads section on the right.
Further information can be found on City of Westminster College’s website here.
To learn more about Supported Internships and recruitment for September 2021 – July 2022 programmes, please contact Rachel Edwards Bi-borough SEND Employment Pathways Coordinator T: 07739 315 424 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
For information about Supported Internship programmes across West London, please see the West London Alliance Supported Internship Guide.
Here are a list of all the placements we offer on the Supported Internship Programme.
- ICT Records Management
- Community Access Westminster
- Office Nicky Aikin MP
- St Vincent De Paul
- Integrity Care and Support
- Veolia UK
Hospitality / Catering:
- Unity Kitchen Café, Westminster City Hall
- Canteen, WCC Lisson Grove
- Planet Organic kitchen
- Natural History Museum
- Everyone Active Gyms and Paddington Recreation Ground
- Facilities (preparing meeting rooms & events in Lord Mayor’s Parlour, post deliveries, reception)
- Planet Organic – Deliveries/ Shop floor
- GEM Building Services – deliveries
- Westminster City Council Archives Centre
- St Marylebone CE Bridge School
Please click here for more in depth look at the placements we offer.
Want to know more about a supported internship? Arthur is one of the supported interns sharing what he does each day on the supported internship programme here
Arthur did really well to get a paid job whilst on the supported internship. He shares what he does in his new job here.
Mo Hakim Interview - Westminster City Council Supported Intern
Why did you decide to do the supported internship?
I decided to do it so I can gain more skills and experience, while meeting new people and improving my social skills. I also decided to do the Supported Internship Programme so I could get help to become more confident at working.
How has the supported internship helped you, get to where you are now?
The Supported Internship has helped me get a job at Mencap. The Job Coaches have been very supportive and understanding, supporting me when I most needed it. I was also able to choose some good work placements for myself that I enjoyed.
What have you learned on your various placements from your supported internship?
While working in the facilities teams at WCC I learned how to receive parcels delivered to the building and how to pass them on to different departments. I learned how to track of the parcels through companies such as DPD. I learned how to be organised and how to work in a team. I would also be tasked with making a room presentable for meetings.
While on a placement at planet organic, I learned skills such as teamwork and customer service. Customers would approach me and ask me for help to find items. I would show them the location if I knew where the items were.
Where can you see yourself in the future?
I can see myself having a job that I really enjoy that also pays me well. I can see myself having a stable life.
You mentioned that you are currently working at Mencap, what is your role there?
My role at Mencap is Research and Impact Assistant. I help the transformation team at Mencap, who help with making plans and researching. We research how many people with disabilities are in employment and if they get the benefits that they need. Evaluation of ‘easy read’ materials is also part of my role there.
What attracted you to this role?
I applied for this role because I believe that young people with learning difficulties need more help and support, especially with employment and other things like socialising. I also personally feel like many people don’t really understand people with learning difficulties.
What does a typical day look like at Mencap?
A typical day at Mencap starts at nine thirty, I log onto my new Mencap work laptop which is very nice and advanced. I go onto teams and have a meeting with my manager and my team. We talk about the task and things we will learn about and I take notes. I take breaks any time I need them and finish my work at around 12:30. My working days are Tuesdays and Wednesdays for seven and a half hours.
How does your Manager support you in your role?
My manager Supports me by being very supportive and kind. My manager also helps me understand somethings in my job role which I may not understand, whilst ensuring that I get enough breaks. The interview process really worked for me. I felt like the interview over teams did not make me nervous.
Which aspect of the job do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy the fact that I have a job now. I also enjoy my interactions with my team and manager. The team meetings we talk about different stuff and its usually very interesting.
Article about Mo.