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Preparing for adulthood

Training, work experience and getting a job

Leaving school or college and getting a job is an exciting time. There are many different paths you can take.

If you are worried about your work skills or finding a job, there is lots of help nearby.

You’ll find information about local help on this page, and the Preparing for Adulthood website also has lots of good advice on getting a job.

Supported internships

Supported internships help young people with special educational needs or a disability (SEND) to learn new skills and get work experience.

Supported internships are normally for young people who have an education, health and care (EHC) plan.

When taking a supported internship you get help from a job coach, who is always there to support you.

If you are at school and want to find out more about supported internships, you should talk to your careers leader. This is a teacher who can give you advice on jobs and getting work experience.

If you want to visit a supported internship to ask questions and see if it's the right choice for you, ask your careers leader to set up an appointment.

You can use our directory to find supported internships near you:

Hear from young people who've done supported internships

We caught up with young people in Buckinghamshire who've done supported internships and placements.

Meet Merson working at Sainsbury's

Meet Nathan working as table maker at Ercol

Meet Adam and Joe working as chefs at The Lion pub

Buckinghamshire Adult Learning has also made a video explaining more about Supported Internships.

Hear from staff, companies and young people involved

Show me local supported internships

Work experience

Work experience helps you to learn the skills you need to get a job. It can also help you become more confident.

If you are at school, speak to your careers leader as they can arrange work experience for you.

You can also find local organisations in our directory that will help you get work experience:

Show me help to get work experience

Help to find job opportunities

There is help in the local area to find jobs that match your skills:

Jobcentre Plus

Your local Jobcentre Plus can help you find a job or get new skills.

They can also tell you about companies in your area that employ people with SEND.

Your nearest Jobcentre Plus may also be able to arrange for you to meet a specialist work psychologist.

A work psychologist can give you an employment assessment, where you will be asked about:

  • your work skills and experience
  • what sorts of jobs you are interested in

Intensive Personalised Employer Support

For Intensive Personalised Employer Support, you will work closely with a support worker to decide which job is best for you.

The support worker will also help you to get the work experience and skills you need.

Speak to your careers leader at school to see if you can get Intensive Personalised Employer Support.

If you have left school, ask for more details at your local Jobcentre Plus.

Work and Health Programme

If you have left school and are having trouble finding a job, the Work and Health Programme can help.

You will get help to decide which jobs match your skills, and support to find any extra training you need.

Ask for more details at your local Jobcentre Plus.

Help when you get a job

People with SEND sometimes find it hard to do their job because they have special needs and need extra support

But you can ask your employer or future employer to make reasonable adjustments so you can do your job better.

This can be simple changes such as:

  • changing the hours you work, so it’s easier for you to get to your job and home again
  • buying special equipment to help you do your job

If you’ve spoken to your employer about reasonable adjustments but they cannot help, you may get extra support from Access to Work.

Access to Work is a grant that can pay for:

  • special equipment or services at work, to help you do things like answer the phone or go to meetings
  • help getting to and from work

Read how Access to Work can help people with SEND do their job better.