Employment support



There are different ways that you can gain employment. Below is a list and summary of the avenues that are available.


Employment Click to get info

Employment is when you work for a company/organisation or on a self-employed basis either full time or part time.

To gain employment you normally have to go through a recruitment process. This can include an application form and interview.  Some companies may ask you to do some tests or role plays at the interview. 

Most companies pay you monthly into your bank account and you may get additional benefits depending on the company for example, free dental or health care.

To find a job you can search online or visit your local Jobcentre Plus.  You can also contact employment agencies and supported employment agencies that can provide specialist advice to people with special educational needs and disabilities. 

Visit the Gov.uk website to find a job

Apprenticeships Click to get info

Apprenticeships are tailored to specific job roles and enable you to get a qualification whilst working for the company. To apply for an apprenticeship you must be over 16.


What levels are there?

• Intermediate Level: equivalent to five GCSEs.
• Advanced Level: this is equivalent to two A Levels.
• Higher Apprenticeships: leading to NVQ Level 4 or above or a Foundation Degree. 

The current minimum wage rate for an apprentice is £3.90 per hour. This rate applies to apprentices under 19 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year.

Apprenticeships are competitive so it is important to research and choose carefully. You can read more about the different types of apprenticeships by visiting www.gov.uk/topic/further-education-skills/apprenticeships.

Colleges and training providers delivering your apprenticeship can provide additional learning support if your impairment makes it hard for you to follow a particular training programme. Similarly the Access to Work scheme can pay towards additional help needed in the workplace.

From September 2017, apprentices with an Education, Health and Care Plan (ECHP) or “legacy statement” who have difficulties meeting the usual English and maths requirements at Level 1 and level 2, as a result of their learning disability, will be able to apply for an adjustment to study the lower Entry Level 3 English and Maths.

For the first time ever British Sign Language is an alternative option to English Functional Skills for those who have BSL as their first language.

Supported Employment Click to get info

This type of employment is where you have a Job Coach who works alongside you to help you to develop the skills required for the job. They will help you until you feel confident to do the job.  In Waltham Forest you can get this help through Ellingham Supported Employment.

Supported employment is a well-evidenced, personalised approach to working with people to access and retain open employment, with support.

This model has at its heart the notion that anyone can be employed if sufficient support is provided. The model is a flexible and continuous process, which includes;

-  help to build your confidence and self esteem
-  training, from basic skills to vocational and professional qualifications
-  help to match you with the right job for your experience and skills
-  work trials so you can try a job and gain experience
-  help through the interview process, sometimes even attending interviews with you for support
-  on the job help to guide and support you through the early stages
-  advising potential employers on reasonable adjustments
-  help to keep your job if you become disabled or are finding work difficult with your existing disability

Click here for more information about support employment

Internships Click to get info

These are programmes where you work for a company for a set time and you learn different roles within the company. Once you have completed your internship you can then apply for a job with the company. The advantages are that you know the company well and have more of a chance of succeeding.  You will have gained invaluable experience so that if you are not successful you will be able to apply for other jobs.

Supported Internships Click to get info

New supported internships now available for September 2019

Supported internships are a structured study programme based primarily at an employer. They enable people aged 16-24 with a statement of SEN, a Learning Difficulty Assessment or an Education, Health and Care plan to achieve sustainable paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need for work, through learning in the workplace.

The school, college or specialist provider will work with local employers and supported employment services. You will be involved in planning your study programme and have a tutor and expert job coach to work with you and the employer during the internship.

Supported internships are unpaid, and last for a minimum of six months. Wherever possible, they support the you to move into paid employment at the end of the programme. You will complete a personalised study programme which includes the chance to study for relevant substantial qualifications, if appropriate, and English and maths.

For the employer, the internship must meet a real business need, with the potential of a paid job at the end of the programme of study, should the intern meet the required standard.

Visit the Preparing for Adulthood website to download a short guide for learners, a more detailed factsheet and to watch videos about supported internships. 

Traineeships Click to get info

A traineeship is a course with work experience that gets you ready for work or an apprenticeship. They include work preparation training, maths and English and work experience needed to get an apprenticeship or other job. 

Traineeships are available to all 16 to 23 year olds and run for between six weeks and six months. Opportunities for students with an education health and care plan (EHCP) to take part in traineeships can be extended up to age 25.

You do not get paid on a traineeship but employers are encouraged to support you with expenses such as transport and meals.

Access to Work is available if there are additional disability-related support costs.

To find out about traineeships available in your area visit www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/traineeshipsearch

Volunteering Click to get info

This is another way of gaining experience in the world of work or you may work part time in one job and wish to gain a skill in another area.  You can volunteer wherever you feel you will get the benefit. 

There are volunteering organisations that you can contact and they will help you find the right company to work for.  Normally when volunteering you can claim back any expenses that you have paid out as a result of your volunteering.  This includes, travel and lunches.

Visit Do-It volunteering website

Slenky Waltham Forest Click to get info

Slenky is a platform for young people to make it easier to access real life opportunities, by helping you connect with leading brands and organisations. 

Slenky is a way to stay in the know about what's going on around you and to discover all kinds of new opportunities available to you. It's a place to explore and follow your passions & interests, and find out more about the things that inspire you or matter to you most.

Visit the Slenky Waltham Forest website to find out more.

Project search with Jess Click to get info