National Supported Internship Day - Spotlight on... the positive impact of a QAC Job Coach!

A supported internship is a structured, work-based study programme specifically aimed at young people aged 16 to 24 with an education, health and care (EHC) plan who wish to move into employment. The aim of our Supported Internship programme at QAC is to provide students with a route into employment, with tailored support to help along the way in order to achieve their full potential and employment aspirations.

Based at our Pinewood Campus, this tailored support is facilitated and provided by a small team of expert Job Coaches who work with both the supported intern and employer so that the young person can get the most from their work placement and make a positive progression to employment, creating a diverse workforce.

A student cuts wood with a workshop with a staff member supporting

A day in the life of a Job Coach at QAC can vary depending on where they are working and who they are supporting, as this is dependent on the individual needs of the intern and employer.

However, a typical day might include travelling to an external work placement with the intern, discussing the work related tasks planned for the day with the employer and breaking these down into functional actions with the intern using topographical support strategies. They will also continuously assess, gather evidence and set targets for the intern, and complete a daily debrief at the end of the day, helping the intern to complete their placement diary sheets and logbook. 

If the intern struggles with an aspect of the role, the Job Coach will use the “try another way” strategy before the element of the role is carved. Job carving is an important part of a Job Coach's role - this involves negotiating with the employer to swap or eliminate elements of a job role to maximise the intern's skills.

A student preps food in a café with a staff member supporting

Job Coaches lead by example, demonstrating how a task needs to be actioned whilst maintaining effective communication and the high standards that are expected in the workplace. They need to be flexible and have the ability to make quick decisions, where required, to support an intern's wellbeing and workplace learning. If appropriate, the in-work support provided by a Job Coach may taper off as the intern becomes familiar with their role and a plan put in place to maximise independence.

During term time, our Job Coaches are usually out of the office supporting interns 4 days per week (sometimes 5 days), but when they are in the office at Pinewood, they can be found completing relevant work placement trackers, paperwork and reports, liaising with other departments and teams at QAC, as well as sourcing new substantial work placement opportunities by meeting and developing links with a range of external employers.

In summary, our dedicated Job Coaches play an important role in supporting interns to overcome barriers to employment, develop job readiness skills, build resilience and confidence to achieve their career aspirations. Each day presents opportunities to make a positive impact on the lives of the young people that we support and contribute to their success in the workforce and life beyond College.

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