Supported Internships

The West London Alliance Supported Internships Programme was established in Autumn 2015 to increase the number of Supported Internships and employment opportunities for young people with Special educational needs and disability (SEND). Supported internships are structured study programmes based at an employer's premises designed to enable young people with SEND to achieve sustainable, paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need for work through learning in the workplace. Internships are managed in partnership with a host business, an education provider and a supported employment provider who facilitate the move into paid employment.


Currently it is estimated that less than 7%* of young adults with learning disabilities are in paid employment in the UK. Following an Internship Programme, employment outcomes of upwards of 60% are being achieved in West London. 


The Programme is focussed on the development of new internships as well as raising the profile of internship and employment opportunities for young people with SEND.


In 2015 there were 6 Supported Internship Programmes in West London offering 66 places per year. In the 2019-2020 academic year there are 15 programmes and 185 places per year available with more programmes being established every year. The programme is:

  • Raising awareness and expectations of employment through a series of communications and events aimed at young people, Schools, Colleges, Parents & Carers, Employers and service providers.
  • Shares good practice and facilitates shared learning and evaluation across projects.
  • Developing of a range of pathways into employment including structured work experience placements for young people in preparation for a Supported Internship year

Internships are hosted in a range of business sectors including the following West London employers:  

  • Public Health England
  • Hilton London Heathrow Terminal 5
  • London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust
  • L'Oral
  • London Borough of Hounslow
  • Transport for London
  • West Middx Hospital
  • Marriott
  • London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham 
  • Kensington High St

For further information on the Supported Internship Programme please contact:  


Amanda Griffiths at  


*Source: The Royal Mencap Society