We believe that every student should have the opportunity to gain employment if they have the desire and drive to do so regardless of disability.
There is evidence that paid work is good for you and it will help you to have an independent a life as possible.
Your teachers, families and carers have an important role to play in helping you make informed choices about your future, offering support and guidance along the way.
Whilst you are still at school you should have the opportunity to go out into the community on work experience placements. Vocational profiling may help you find suitable work placements.
Here is a film from Oak Grove College in Worthing with students talking about their work experience.
From Year 7 onwards you should be thinking about what career you would like to look into and what skills and experience you might need.
Here are two case studies of students who are now working:
Michael, a student at Post-16 Unit has been doing his work experience placement at a clothes shop in Worthing. This has led to a part-time job for him working at weekends. Michael’s work experience included a range of tasks including working on the shop floor, stock room and bag packing. Michael says:
I really enjoyed my work especially meeting and interacting with customers. The new skills I have gained have increased my confidence and given me more independence, and inspired my friends to seek work. I love it!
An electrical engineering company in Worthing supports Joshua on work placement in their Assembly Department. Graham Smith, Parts Supervisor, said:
“Having Joshua with us for his work experience placement has been good for us all. Joshua is a keen and motivated young man, his spirit is contagious and he has been a welcome addition to our team. He is happy to undertake any task that is given to him and keen to learn and perfect new skills. His positive attitude and friendly approach makes him a pleasure to have around. We all wish him the very best of luck in his bright future”.
Manor Green is a secondary school for pupils between the ages of 11 and 19 who experience a wide range of learning difficulties.
A top priority for the school is to make sure the students that are able to work are prepared for the job market.
Former students who now have jobs shared their stories about the benefits of working in the hope of inspiring current pupils. They talked about the qualities they believe young people need to succeed in the workplace such as reliability, determination and being polite. Read their inspiring stories and top tips here.
Here are a few things to encourage you:
When choosing a school or college find out what help it will offer with your career:
- Does the curriculum give you the knowledge and skills to help you to plan and manage your career?
- Is there good careers information including options, skills, occupations, labour market information, pathway and progression routes.
- Is there any impartial and expert careers advice and guidance offered?
- Is there work related learning including experiences at school and outside of school to help you learn about the benefits of working and careers and enterprises?
Employers are not allowed to discriminate against you because you have special educational needs and disabilities. You are able to ask for reasonable adjustments at all stages of recruitment and once in work.
There is funding called ‘Access to Work’ which helps you in work and training.
Make the most of the connections you already have, it’s often ‘Who you know’ who can help. Is there someone you know, maybe in the family or neighbours, who is connected to the career you are interested in? Can they offer you work experience; let you know when opportunities come up; check your CV; look through your Personal Statement; or talk to you about what the work is like?
Apprenticeships and Supported Internships are ways to work and train at the same time.
Go to ‘Your Space’ for further information.
Go to the Easy Read Access to Work information.