Internships are a structured part our our study programme and they enable our young people to achieve sustainable paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need for work, through learning in the workplace

Internships are unpaid, and last for a between 3 – 9 months or for the duration of their study programme. Wherever possible, we support our students to move into paid employment / apprenticeship at the end of the programme.

All young people will be helped to develop the skills and experience, and achieve the qualifications they need to succeed in their careers. The overwhelming majority of young  people with SEN are capable of sustainable paid employment with the right preparation and support. All professionals working with through Harrison College share this mindset.

The aim of our internships is to prepare young people with complex needs for paid employment by:

  • supporting them to develop the skills valued by employers
  • enabling them to demonstrate their value in the workplace;
  • developing confidence in their own abilities to perform successfully at work

Whilst the ideal outcome from an internship will be the offer of a paid job from an employer, possibly the employer who hosted the intern’s work placement, other outcomes include:

  • building up experience for a CV, demonstrating that the young person has the
    skills and willingness to work;
  •  changing the perception of employers about employing people with learning
    difficulties and/or disabilities;
  • changing the perception of the young person’s family that they can work;
  • improving skills in English and maths that enable the young person to be better prepared for work, including handling money, interacting with the public, and
    practising interview skills;
  • becoming independent travellers

The high level of individualised support provided to our students is a key distinguishing feature of the internship programme. The amount and nature of the support provided will differ from one student to the next, depending on their needs. However, as a general principle the support provided should be that which will enable the student to be as independent as possible, and will vary according to need during the internship, often decreasing over the length of the internship as the intern becomes more confident in the workplace.

Often ‘natural’ forms of support provided by the employer and the student’s colleagues replace the job coach’s support once the intern is well established.

All students will participate in an interview, induction and a package of professional development qualifications prior to starting the internship.

Throughout the internship process, students will be supported by our Chief Commercial Officer and Business Development Executive and once on placement will receive at least monthly visits to ensure that they are making progress with their employability skills, to set SMART targets and to ensure that the placement is working for all parties. Students will also be issued a lone worker device to ensure that they are safeguarded during their travel to and from their workplace.

Current student testimonial: ” Harrison College has given me a large opportunity for work, build my confidence and develop new skills. They have also given me time to decide what I want to do in the long-term future. My internship with a local business was arranged and I was supported with that – I have now been offered an apprenticeship. I would recommend Harrison College to anyone who is struggling to work out what to do with their future.”

Piers Bedford - Internship at Absolute Recovery as Administrative Assistant

“My time at Harrison College has boosted my confidence, before coming here I wouldn’t have been able to go into a workplace. I couldn’t even go into a Subway and order food as I was too nervous. I can do that easily now and with my boost in confidence I am ready to go into the workplace.”. Piers Bedford

Demi-Marie Holmes - Internship at Fit4Rugby as a Sports Coach

“At secondary school I struggled and didn’t want to attend due to people constantly making negative comments to me that weren’t necessary and I felt I wasn’t getting the support I needed. When I first heard about Harrison College I wasn’t sure about coming however now I know it was the right choice and a great opportunity for me. When I first started, I didn’t talk to anyone due to being shy and not trusting them but now my confidence have grown and now I will speak up and voice my opinions. I am happy with my choice of coming to Harrison College and I think it is a good thing in Doncaster”. Demi-Marie Holmes
“Harrison College provide excellent communication of what is happening and have helped Demi-Marie with all aspects of support she needs to achieve her goals. Harrison College have been very supportive in everything Demi-Marie wants to do inside and outside of college.”. Claire Holmes

Daniel Manion - Internship at Orb Recruitment as Administrative Assistant

“I came to Harrison College fed up with Sixth Form, where I felt I wasn’t supported. If it wasn’t for Harrison College, I wouldn’t be the person I am today with the skills and life experience. I cannot express enough how thankful I am for Harrison College and Orb Recruitment for making me more confident and making me grow a lot as a person.”. Daniel Manion