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Empowering futures through supported internships

March 27, 2024, marks the second annual National Supported Internship Day, an initiative launched in 2023 by the charity DFN Project SEARCH. 

To celebrate the day, let's meet Harvey, one of our interns! He recently sat down with Ines Grilo, Project Search Instructor at The College of Haringey, Enfield, and Northeast London, to share his journey and experiences with the programme.


How did you come across Haringey's supported internship programme, and why did you decide to apply? Image of a young person smiling next to a sign with the text: Digital Training Suite

My Mum found it on their SEND offer page on Haringey's website. I finished college with a Level Two qualification in bricklaying, and I was home for a few months. I wanted to work, but with little experience and no guidance, I found it hard to do a job search and complete applications.

My days didn't have much structure, which wasn't good for me. When I heard about this programme and the opportunity to gain experience in real work placements with support, it seemed like a really good idea.

And how did it feel when you first started? 

My first week was difficult. I was nervous, and when I read the job description with the programme instructor, I thought," There is no way I can do this..." But then, with the help of the job coach, things became clearer. I started understanding what was expected from me in that rotation and realised that I could do it pretty much on my own. 

What was your work placement at the time? Which work placements have you attended so far? 

That was in the New River Civic Centre; I was there as a welcome worker. Now I am working as an office assistant in the Learning and Development Department of Haringey Council, and I am really enjoying it. I found out that this is the kind of job I want to have in the future. 

It is great to hear that you have found new talents and skills. Has that been one of the programme's main benefits in your experience?

Well, that is one of them. I became more open-minded about future employment possibilities. I used to look for jobs in construction and trade, but now I know that I actually have other skills and prefer a completely different job. I would like to develop my business/admin and digital media skills.  

Another benefit of the programme is that it gives me daily structure. I like having a routine: coming to the lesson and going to work afterwards. 

Tell me more about the employability course you attend alongside the work placements. What useful things have you learned so far?

I learned a lot about non-verbal communication and how it is perceived at work, which I found interesting.

We also had lessons about CVs. I look forward to writing a new one that includes my recent experiences. I am also learning about job searching, and I have learned that I should read job adverts in more detail and be more efficient when selecting the ones I want to apply to.

What was your favourite experience/activity in the whole programme so far? 

There were two. My first was the work party with my work colleagues at the New River Civic Centre to celebrate the New Year. 

The second was attending the Tottenham Hotspur Job Fair with my instructor and job coach. I had no idea that some employers look for people like me for work experience programmes and apprenticeships, so it was very cool to talk to them.

Those sound like very meaningful experiences. Would you recommend the programme to other young people in the borough?

Yes, I would. It will give them a good idea of what "work-life" is, and they will have support.

A supported internship is a program for 17 to 25-year-olds with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) and an EHCP (Education, Health, and Care Plan). In 2023, our SEND service launched our Supported Internship Programme with Harvey as one of our first participants.

We're currently accepting applications for the 2024 cohort. To learn more, complete the expression of interest form or email Lucy Edwards, Supported Internship Co-ordinator at lucy1.edwards@haringey.gov.uk.

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Page last updated:

March 20, 2024