Employment and Training (Post 16)

Employment is a very important part of life. When people have a job, they feel part of society, they have a purpose, make new friends plus have money in their pockets to buy the things they want.

There are a number of ways that young people with special educational needs and disabilities can access the world of work.  These include:

  • Supported Internships
  • Apprenticeships
  • Work Experience
  • Volunteering
Access to Work

Young people who wish to move straight into employment can access funding for Job Coaching and other reasonable adjustments through DWP Access To Work funding.

Download an easy read guide on access to work 

There are also specialist DWP Work Coaches who can support job searching.


Supported Internships

Supported Internships are an employment-based education programme which helps the transition to employment for young people with Education, Health and Care Plans who have completed their education journey.  An internship is a programme that lasts from 6 months to one year.  Learners receive support from a job coach to help them learn required job tasks and any general employability learning is reinforced in a classroom.  By the end of an internship it is anticipated that the young person will be able to function in the workplace without the job coach. Host employers are encouraged to offer paid roles or guaranteed interviews where possible.  Locally in Central Bedfordshire, we work mostly with Central Bedfordshire College and Bedford College to deliver internships

Read more about Supported Internships

Download an Easy Read guide on Supported Internships


What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are a great way to:

  • learn on the job
  • build up knowledge and skills
  • gain qualifications and earn money at the same time.

Into Apprenticeships  - A Guide For Disabled People.  Produced by Disability Rights UK 'Into Apprenticeships' is a guide for disabled people, parents and key advisers about applying for apprenticeships in England. It deals with common questions such as how to find an apprenticeship, whether the training will be accessible and what support is available in the workplace.

Applying for an Apprenticeship.  Most apprenticeships will be listed on the Apprenticeship website where you can register and set up alerts.

Work Experience

Work experience can be helpful in getting experience or finding out about a particular job role and will help boost your CV. These opportunities may lead to employment as when you are working in a company you may hear about opportunities within it.

Find your Future Careers portal has more information.


Volunteering can help provide you with valuable experience, in lots of different ways such as:

  • you can gain new skills
  • you can meet new people and make friends whilst doing something you are interested in
  • you can build self-esteem and confidence and have a feeling of achievement knowing you have given something back
  • you can help your own community to grow and develop. Volunteering gives you a chance to give back to your community by sharing your own skills and knowledge

Volunteering is a great way to bridge gaps in your CV and also gives you a recent reference for employers to contact

You will find lots of useful information about volunteering, on our Find Your Future Careers Portal.

Financial support

Employment Support Allowance (ESA) is an allowance provided by the government which offers help if you have a disability or health condition that affects how much you can work. The ‘New Style’ ESA has replaced the ‘contribution-based’ ESA. You can find out more about whether you are eligible on the Government website.

Access to work, provides support and could include money, known as a grant, which you don’t have to pay back. It helps people who have a disability or long-term health condition to do their job.

Help with finding a Job

Before you look for work it’s useful to think about the skills and training you have, the type of job you want and the skills you want to develop. 

  • Youth Support Service if you are  aged 13 to 19 years old (up to 25 for young people with an Education, Health and Care plan).  Personal Guidance Advisors can provide careers advice, information and support to young people living in Central Bedfordshire.  
  • Bedfordshire Employment and Skills Academy delivers a range of short courses, qualifications, apprenticeships and employability support, if you are aged 19 or over.  

You can search and apply for jobs on the:

You can also look for jobs: