Information for Businesses

Information & Benefits for Businesses

If you are interested in your business taking an intern, please complete our Enquiry Form for Businesses.
Forward2Employment offer a 38-week supported internship that will mirror school terms and start and finish times. They enable young people aged 16-24 with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) to achieve sustainable paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need for work, through learning in the workplace. Interns attend the workplace 4 days a week and spend 1 day a week improving their employability skills and independence skills, however, there is the flexibility to fit your working patterns.

Supported Internships are unpaid, and last for a minimum of six months. Wherever possible, the supported internship programme supports the young person to move into paid employment at the end of their placement.

Alongside their time at the employer, young people complete a personalised study programme aimed to improve their employability and independence skills. Most interns will study for a BTEC in Skills for Life and Skills for Work, as well as Functional Skills Maths and English. If there is a more appropriate qualification that you need the intern to gain then we can consider this as an option, for example, a CSCS card. Young people on a supported internship with a disability or health condition can apply to the Department for Work and Pensions’ Access to Work fund. An Access to Work grant can cover the additional support a young person may need for the in-work element of supported internships, for example:

We will provide you with a fully trained Job Coach who will offer guidance and support to both you and the intern. Interns have the support of a Job Coach from Forward2Employment who will learn the task/tasks alongside the student and then in consultation with you and the intern, will slowly withdraw that support. They work with you and the intern as much or as little as is required to ensure the placement runs smoothly and the needs of both parties are catered for.

Business Benefits of Starting an Internship Program

Growing your own Talent
For many, the process of recruiting and hiring is a drain on company resources.
Test-drive the talent
It’s a human resources reality: A new employee makes a solid impression in the interview, but then just doesn’t gel with your current team or your company’s way of doing things. Therefore, hiring someone as an intern is the most effective way to evaluate their potential as a full-time employee. When you “try out” candidates via an internship, you make fewer mistakes when it comes to full-time staffing; you avoid the pitfall of training a new person only to find out they’re not a fit for your organisation or that the entry-level employee doesn’t like the field. Starting an internship program lets you benefit from added manpower, while more accurately assessing candidates.
Increase Productivity
Setting up an internship program allows you to take advantage of extra sets of hands, help your employees be more productive, prevents them from becoming overburdened by side projects, as well as freeing them up to accomplish more creative tasks, or those who are higher-level will have more time for strategic thinking or to further develop expertise.
Increase Employee-Retention Rate
The proof for the test-driving theory is in the positive employee-retention figures: According to NACE’s 2009 Experiential Education Survey, almost 40% of employers reported a higher five-year retention rate among employees they’d hired via their internship programmes.
Enhance Perspective
It’s not just the extra sets of hands that make interns advantageous. New people bring with them novel perspectives, fresh ideas, and specialised strengths and skillsets. These augment the abilities of your professional workforce.
Take Advantage of Low-Cost Labour
Interns are an inexpensive resource. You do not have to pay them a salary whilst they are on the programme.
Find Candidates Free-of-Charge
Forward2Employment will match suitable candidates completely free of charge.
Give Back to the Community
Creating an internship program is an excellent way to give back to a community. Offering interns an opportunity not only helps young people in your community get started; it enhances the local workforce as a whole. 92% of consumers interviewed in a large scale study felt more favourable towards companies that hired people with disabilities.
Upskilling your Current Workforce

We will also provide:

Free Disability Awareness Training tailored for your employees: We understand that it can be daunting working for the first time with young people who have a learning disability. It is a very good idea to make sure that employees who will be heavily involved in the internship programme complete a disability awareness training course to help allay any initial concerns and build the confidence and awareness of employees who will play a significant role in your Supported Internship programme. Although you may choose to focus on disability in its wider context, it’s also well worth considering doing some training with a focus on learning disabilities or autism awareness.

Selection Process

You will be fully involved in the selection process and you would be given the final decision on who we place with you. This would include a formal interview where the student would be supported by the Job Coach. Interns will not be selected on academic ability but on social/emotional maturity and independence.

  • Interns should be able to stay in their placements and be able to manage behaviour/emotions with minimal support from work colleagues (Job Coaches would be on hand if needed).
  • Interns will be able to work on simple/repetitive/structured tasks that are real and meaningful with minimal support from work colleagues/Job Coaches.
  • Interns will be able to move independently around the premises.
  • Interns will be able to sustain being part of a team.
  • Interns will be working towards becoming an independent traveller if they are not already.
  • Interns will be able to follow health and safety procedures after induction.