South Staffordshire College students take part in a Supported Internship with John Lewis

South Staffordshire College students take part in a Supported Internship with John Lewis

South Staffordshire College student, Jess Heath, busy preparing curtains to go on sale

Students from South Staffordshire College’s supported learning department have enjoyed a very successful stint working at John Lewis as part of the supported internship programme.

The group of six students who are taking part in the college’s pilot supported internship scheme at Tamworth Campus, spent a week working at the John Lewis department store in Tamworth where they gained experience by shadowing employees and studying various aspects of the business, including stock management, customer service and recruitment.

The scheme was such a success that John Lewis have offered the supported learning department an annual placement with them.

Each of the six students who took part in the scheme were paired with a work-buddy for the week. Jess Heath (above) supported the home furnishings team, and her buddy, John Lewis employee Libby, explains how enthusiastic she was. “Jess was a really friendly young lady.  She was very helpful when asked to take up a task.”

All of the students enrolled onto this programme have additional learning needs. Each student attends employability training workshops which include NOCN qualifications in travelling to work, dealing with problems at work, action planning and much more. In addition to this, the students are studying maths and English Functional Skills qualifications.

The supported internship provides work placements to students who are accompanied by a Senior Job Coach. This allows the students to settle quickly into a new workplace as they have a familiar support network available to them. The Senior Job Coach also offers support to the company in terms of understanding the various support needs of the students and offering advice on how best to encourage and challenge them.

The aim of the supported internship is to deliver practical and theoretical employability training, ongoing development in literacy and numeracy, improve confidence, provide work placements in a variety of areas, provide a support network, integrate students into work placements to develop an understanding of the day to day structure of the workplace and encourage learners to explore different jobs by providing invaluable experience and knowledge through work experience.

To find out more about the fantastic work being done by South Staffordshire College’s supported learning team, visit their open events. Find the most local event to you at

To find out more about the full range of courses available at the College, visit, where you can sign up in just 25 seconds.

Keep up to date with the latest news from South Staffordshire College via social media.

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Twitter: @southstaffs

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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