The voice of specialist further education


Students at Natspec Colleges have increasing access to work experience opportunities. Some Colleges have custom facilities for their students. These introduce students into the world of work through on-site cafes, hotels, pubs and shops. Short term work experience is available, as well as supported internships.

Supported internships

Supported Internships are structured study programmes, with the majority of the programme being based with an employer.

They enable young people aged 16 to 24 with an Education, Health and Care Plan to achieve sustainable employment through learning in the workplace. Supported internships are unpaid, last a minimum of six months, and as well as time in the workplace, the young person follows a personalised programme including, if appropriate, English, maths, and relevant qualifications.

Natspec provides training around setting up a supported internship programme as part of our Transform training service.


The Gatsby Benchmarks

The Gatsby Benchmarks are a framework for providing good careers guidance to students.

The Gatsby Foundation has produced “Good Career Guidance: Perspectives from the SEND sector.” This provides examples of how colleges in the sector have met and utilised the Benchmarks in their careers provision.

You can find further support on implementing the Benchmarks on their website.

Disability Confident

The Government’s Disability Confident scheme is aimed at giving employers the tools they need to recruit, retain and develop disabled people in their workforce. Download the employment fact sheet.

Disability Confident Committed logo

Employers can sign up to one of three new levels:

  • Disability Confident Committed (Level 1), encouraging employers to start the journey
  • Disability Confident Employer (Level 2), where employers are recruiting, retaining and developing disabled staff
  • Disability Confident Leader (Level 3), where they ensure they are helping others to be Disability Confident as well.

Natspec Employment Forum

The Natspec Employment Forum meets twice a year. This forum is for all Natspec staff involved with supporting students into work. Previous topics covered at the employment forums include:

  • supported internships
  • engaging local employers
  • implementing the Gatsby Benchmarks
  • what meaningful careers education and guidance looks like for students with complex learning needs and/or disabilities.

Check our events calendar to find out when the next Employment Forum is.

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