If you’re a young person with a special educational needs or disabilities, there are many ways you can achieve your ambitions.

local offer logo There are a number of opportunities available to help you secure your journey to employment and a successful career.

This page contains information and advice on different employment options.

The National Careers Service provides useful advice on how to look for and apply for jobs including CV tips and writing good covering letters.

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. Traineeships

A traineeship will give you the skills and work experience that employers are looking for.

On a traineeship you’ll get:

  • help with English and maths (if you need it)
  • work experience in a work placement of your choice.

Traineeships can last up to 6 months.

Who can do a traineeship

You can do a traineeship if you’re:

  • unemployed or working less than 16 hours per week
  • have little or no work experience and are motivated to work
  • 16 to 24 years old and your qualifications are below Level 3 (for example A Levels)
  • 16 to 25 and you have a learning disability.

You may be ready for an apprenticeship if you already have some work experience.

Find a traineeship on GOV.UK

You won’t be paid while you’re on a traineeship. You can claim Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) if you’re 19 to 23 years old. You can also apply for an Access to Work grant if you’re 16 to 24 years old and you have a disability or health condition.

2. Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are real jobs with training so you can earn while you learn and pick up valuable and recognised qualifications.

If you’re 16 years old or older and not in full time education, an apprenticeship can offer you:

  • a salary from day one
  • paid holidays
  • training and qualifications
  • job specific skill
  • work alongside experienced staff.

Lambeth Working’s apprenticeship coordinator can help you access local apprenticeship opportunities, please call us on 020 7926 5966 or email us at apprenticeships@lambeth.gov.uk.

You can also find apprenticeships on GOV.UK

Apprenticeship Oyster photocards

If you don't have a disabled persons' Freedom Pass, you may be able to get an Apprentice Oyster photocard.

To be eligible you must:

  • be aged 18 or over
  • live in a London borough
  • be enrolled on an apprenticeship with a further education college or training organisation for a minimum of 12 months
  • be in the first 12 months of your apprenticeship.

Find out more about Apprenticeship Oyster photocards.

3. Supported internships

Supported internships are structured study programmes based primarily at an employer.

They are designed to enable young people with SEND to achieve sustainable, paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need for work through learning in the workplace.

Internships normally last for a year and include unpaid work placements of at least six months. Wherever possible, they support the young person to move into paid employment at the end of the programme.

Why supported internships?

Supported internships are an effective route to progress towards paid employment for many young people with education, health and care plans or equivalent.

Who are they for?

Supported internships are for young people aged 16 to 24 with an education, health and care plan who want to move into employment and need extra support to do so.

Any institution that receives a funding allocation directly from the Education Funding Agency can deliver supported internships.

This includes further education colleges, schools and independent specialist providers.

What’s happening in Lambeth?

Lambeth special schools with post-16 provision, Lambeth College and Roots and Shoots have are working together, supported by the British Association for supported employment, to ensure that a range of supported internships in a range of areas of industries and businesses will be available for young people who want to work.

In 2017-18 the first pilot group of young people will start supported internships. The aim is to offer internships to all young people who wish to take this route into employment in future years.

4. Volunteering and work experience

Whether you are sure or not about what you want to do in life, it might be useful to read about different jobs and network with people in different professions. Or you might just want to try things for yourself.

A really good way to gain skills, experience and knowledge is to secure some voluntary work or work experience.

Voluntary work is any activity or service that involves working or spending time unpaid, doing something that benefits someone else and yourself. It could be your first steps to take before securing paid employment.

Work experience is short term arrangement with an employer to help you experience the world of work and develop skills, knowledge and confidence. Work experience is generally unpaid but very useful to have on your CV.

A good way to decide what you will like to do is by:

  • considering your interests including likes and dislikes
  • writing down a plan and explore ideas including the things you look for in a job such as benefits and development
  • thinking about a profession that interests and inspires you
  • being realistic and ensure you have the relevant skills and meet the entry requirements.

Volunteer Centre Lambeth

Volunteer Centre Lambeth offer a brokerage service to help match your interests with volunteering opportunities.

You can also visit Do-it.org for voluntary opportunities,

5. Training

Training can help you brush up on your existing skills or learn about an area you are interested in.

The types of training available are varied; some might be classroom based, whilst others could involve a mixture of learning in a classroom and in a working environment - this is often called 'on-the-job' training.

There are many of training opportunities out there, often allowing you to fit training around other parts of your life and learn at your own pace.

The National Careers Service website has information on training courses and your right to request training if you are employed, as well as ways to fund your training.

The Lambeth Adult Learning Service also offers regular courses for residents, or you can access a range of training providers in and around the borough.

Roots and Shoots provides vocational training for young people aged 16 to 19 year olds who have had difficulty coping in the traditional educational system.

Mosaic Clubhouse provides support and opportunities to people living with a mental health condition.

6. Get support working with a disability

You can find guidance on GOV.UK to help you:

If you have Downs syndrome, WorkFit can give you support on advice so you can fulfil your work ambitions. Find out about WorkFit opportunities.

If you have autism, CareTrade is a charity which provides support to move from school or college into employment.