Why host a supported internship placement?
There are lots of good reasons to host a supported internship work placement, which is FREE to the employer. As well as making a contribution to society and increasing the diversity of your workforce to reflect your customers and society, the benefits to your business include:
- Developing an ethical corporate image can be fundamental to business success. A study found that 87% of consumers preferred to use companies that hired people with disabilities, and that 92% felt more favourable towards companies that hired individuals with disabilities
- Working alongside a young person with a (learning) disability can increase your organisation's understanding of your market. For an average business, 20% of your customers are disabled people. A workforce that reflects the diverse range of customers it serves, and the community in which it is based, is good for business
- The extended work placement can act as an extended working interview - giving you an increased chance of getting the right person to fill your vacancies and bringing new skills to your workforce
- There is evidence that taking on someone with a (learning) disability can increase staff retention and reduce absenteeism
- Offering a placement will increase an employer's disability confidence, with job coaches available to supplement any in-work training that the employer provides. The intern can also undertake additional learning in college identified by the employer, to work on qualifications that the employer would want their workforce to have
- There may be an opportunity to give a junior member of staff mentoring or supervisory experience if they act as a 'buddy' to the intern
(Sources of evidence supplied by Evenbreak)
 Center for Social Development and Education, University of Massachusetts, 2006.