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Access to Work During COVID-19

Access to Work During COVID-19

This page summarises information and changes about claiming Access to Work for Supported Internships during the COVID-19 pandemic.  There is information for those who started their internships during the academic year 2019/20 and 2020/21.  Update (May 2021): the Department of Education have confirmed that Supported Interns who were not able to meet the core aim of their internship in the 2020-21 academic year may continue their internship into the 2021-22 academic year. This will also apply to 2019-20 interns who continued into 2020-21 and have not yet completed their internships.  We've now has confirmation that Access to Work will be extended to cover supported interns who are repeating their course.  

Getting in touch with DWP: the current advice is to send an email with your query to the generic email address which is ATWOSU.LONDON@DWP.GOV.UK which the subject line QUERY FOR SUPPORTED INTERNSHIP ADVISER.  This will enable the DWP to send the email to an adviser in the supported internship team fairly quickly.


Internships during the academic year 2019/2020

  • A number of interns from last academic year were not able to complete their internship due to coronavirus.
  • DWP have now agreed to fund the young students so they are able to complete their internship.  This means: supported interns who were not able to meet the core aim of their internship in the 2019 to 2020 academic year and have continued their internship into the 2020 to 2021 academic year can claim up to an additional 39 weeks of Access to Work Job Coaching support.
  • To get this funding contact the Access to Work helpline on 0800 121 7479 for more information.

Internships during the academic year 2020/2021

  • Students taking part in a supported internship who are unable to attend their work placements due to coronavirus (COVID-19) can claim Access to Work payment for work-related activities where: i) a job coach leads the activity; ii) the activities develop employability skills.
  • Access to Work can be claimed whether these activities are delivered face-to-face or via digital methods.
  • Access to Work is not available to support academic learning activities.
  • These Job Coaching hours will be in addition to the allocated 39 weeks of job coaching that an intern can receive.
  • This agreement from the DWP is in place until the end of January 2021. This remains under review.

How to apply for this funding:

  • Email the advisor who agreed the funding to let them know what you are doing.
  • Put together a support plan of what you will be doing and how many hours each intern will need.
  • If you are delivering some of the activity to more than 1 intern at a time let the advisor know this and include this in your support plan.
  • Remember not to use the interns name or to give out any personal information on the email about the intern.  Please use their Access to Work Unique Reference Number.

This information was provided by Avril Mendel, a professionally qualified commissioner, planner and manager of services with experience of supported employment, community development, project management, planning and development, and grant bidding within the statutory and voluntary sector.

Released On 1st Feb 2021

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