Call for City firms to offer internships to young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

The City of London Corporation has called on businesses in the Square Mile to offer supported internships (SIs) to people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

An event it hosted at the Mansion House yesterday saw more than 70 firms from the financial district come together to talk about how they can help drive the careers of young people between the ages of 16 and 25 with SEND.

SIs are work placements for people with SEND that include spending some time at work and some time at school or college.

As a form of work-based learning that combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction, they usually last for one year and attract extra support in the work placement.

They aim to bridge the gap between education and employment, empowering young people to develop independence, vocational skills, and increased employability.

Young people with SEND are twice as likely to not be in education, employment, or training, and less likely to be in sustained employment 15 years after Key Stage 4 than their non-disabled peers.

 The event was facilitated by the City Corporation’s Adult Skills Education and Apprenticeship Service.

 Deputy Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Education Board, Naresh Sonpar, said:

“Everyone has a right to a fair chance in life and we want City businesses to join us in offering SEND work placements.

“Having a diverse workforce is great for business and for society.

“Employers across the country are recognising the potential of embracing this often-untapped source of talent.

“By combining structured training, work experience, and learning, we can help to bridge the gap between education and employment.

“It can also enable young people with SEND to develop a sense of independence and achievement, knowing that they have secured a nationally assessed qualification and good quality work experience.

“The benefits are not just for our learning and workspaces, but for our communities as a whole.”

The City Corporation helps young people to flourish in a rapidly changing world by providing exceptional education, cultural and creative learning, and the skills which link to work. 

It hosts seven SI placements within the organisation, and sponsors 10 high-performing academies across Hackney, Islington, Newham, and Southwark through the City of London Academies Trust.  It is also the local education authority for one maintained primary school in the City of London, and the proprietor of four independent schools. 

It runs and hosts the annual London Careers Festival, which links thousands of young Londoners with major companies and institutions offering employment advice, apprenticeships, and work experience.

Notes to Editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.

The City of London Corporation’s Family of Schools are:  

City of London Academies Trust:  

City of London Academy Southwark  

City of London Academy Islington  

The City Academy, Hackney  

City of London Academy Highgate Hill  

City of London Academy Highbury Grove  

City of London Academy Shoreditch Park  

Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre

Redriff Primary, City of London Academy  

Galleywall Primary, City of London Academy  

City of London Primary Academy Islington  

Local Authority maintained school: 

The Aldgate School  


City of London School  

City of London School for Girls  

City of London Freemen’s School  

City Junior School