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, David and Karol and one Inclusive Apprenticeship Adviser - Simon. 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:
Terrence - 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.
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.
David – Job Coach
Hello, my name is David and I’m a job coach with Westminster City Council’s Supported Internship Programme. Before this, I worked as a supported employment advisor/ job coach for 5 years. I’ve also got a degree in music and a qualification in law!
You might be interested in the fact that I am a neurodivergent person, diagnosed quite late in my mid- 20’s.
However, who I am hasn’t stopped me from working as an opera singer, lawyer, or railway performance manager and I try to use my experiences to prove to other people that I work with – and for - what they might be able to do too.
I also love cycling and am a keen AFC Wimbledon fan – which some might see as more of a punishment.
Simon - Inclusive Apprenticeships Adviser
I am the WE*ST Inclusive Apprenticeships Advisor, supporting individuals through their apprenticeship. I act as the liaison between the apprentice’s line managers at Westminster City Council, our key partners, and college/training tutors, ensuring that the apprenticeship is successfully completed to the highest standard.
I previously worked in recruitment for ITV and as a Job Coach at WorkPath (Tower Hamlets Council) & Scope (a disability equality charity).
In my spare time I enjoy travelling the world (so happy travel restrictions are now lifted) and driving my soft top two-seater!
Supported Internships are suited to young people who:
- Ambition to get a paid job at the end of the programme (July 2022)
- Age 16-24
- Have an EHC plan
- Entry 1 – Level 1 English and maths
- Independent traveller /or realistic prospect with travel training
The aim of supported internship is to support young people with EHC plans to gain paid employment by:
- supporting them to develop the skills valued by employers (during three different work placements)
- enabling them to demonstrate their value in the workplace
- developing confidence in their own abilities to perform successfully at work.]
Applications for the 2021-22 Supported Internship Programme will open in March. Applications will close 25th June 2021. 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: email@example.com
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.
Retail & E-Commerce:
- Planet Organic (various locations)
Admin & Westminster City Council (WCC):
- Integrity Care and Support
- WCC Early Help
- WCC Community Access Westminster and Employment (CAWE)
- WCC Facilities
- WCC Libraries (Victoria, Church Street)
- WCC Archives Centre
- WCC Leasehold
- WCC Economy
- WCC Licensing
- WCC ICT Records Management
- WCC Housing
Hospitality / Catering:
- Elior, Canteen, Lisson Grove
- L’oscar Hotel, Holborn
- Unity Kitchen Café, Westminster City Hall
- Continental Landscapes, St John’s Wood Park
- Soho Radio
- Museum of Brands
- Paddington Recreation Ground and Everyone Active Gyms
- St Vincent De Paul
- Natural History Museum
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.
Read more about how the Westminster Supported Internship team worked with Mo to successfully get a job as a Research and Impact Assistant here. Hussain shares his experience of a work placement in Westminster Council Archives Centre here.