Help and support for young disabled people to find and stay in work

Updated 8 May 2017

This guidance provides links to websites that help young disabled people find and stay in work. It is aimed at young disabled people, their parents and the professionals who work with them.

1. Role models

Role models are a great way to see how other people have risen to challenges, overcome barriers and succeeded.

Get advice and inspiration from our videos of role models.

2. Careers advice

The following websites can help young people plan their working futures, whether or not they have yet decided what they want to do.

Plotr is a free website bringing together insight and guidance from industry to help 11 to 24 year olds plan the careers they want.

icould provides first hand information and inspiration on career ideas and what to do next.

Inspiring the Future is a free service with volunteers from all sectors and professions going into state schools and colleges to talk about their jobs and sectors.

For advice about choosing a career, learning and training, applying for jobs and making a career change in:

3. Disability employment advice at your local jobcentre

If you are over 18, your local jobcentre can:

  • help you find a job
  • help you gain new skills
  • tell you about disability friendly employers in your area
  • discuss other support available

They can refer you to a specialist work psychologist, if appropriate, or carry out an ‘employment assessment’ of:

  • your skills and experience
  • what kind of roles you’re interested in

4. Workplace training

Training in the workplace is great way to learn skills and gain experience. For example:

  • apprenticeships – provide real jobs with training where people earn while they learn
  • traineeships – provide education and training programmes with work experience
  • supported internships – help young people with complex learning difficulties achieve sustainable paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need for work, through learning in the workplace

Qualifications and experience young people gain from workplace training can make them more attractive to employers.

4.1 Workplace training in England

Find out more about:

Disability Rights UK publish guidance about applying for apprenticeships in England for disabled people, parents and advisers.

4.2 Workplace training in Scotland

Find out more about:

4.3 Workplace training in Wales

Find out more about:

5. Adjustments in the workplace

Young people can get money towards adjustments in the workplace to help them start or stay in work through an Access to Work grant.

5.1 Young people with a hearing impairment

The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) has recently developed a collection of resources with the Department for Education (DfE) to support the transition young people with a hearing impairment make into employment. These resources include information about the Access to Work scheme.

6. Higher education

Going to university and getting a degree can significantly improve disabled young people’s chances of getting a successful career.

Higher education students in England can get money to help towards their individual needs through a Disabled Students’ Allowance.

These organisations provide advice for disabled people and those with health conditions considering where to study:

The Equality Challenge Unit provides practical advice for careers advisers and other student service providers who support disabled students and recent graduates moving into work.

7. Previous work experience

A CV showing a work history is a powerful way to demonstrate work readiness to an employer. Remember to include any Saturday or holiday jobs, work experience and volunteering, as well as paid work.

The following websites provide ideas on how young people can broaden their experience and improve their CVs:

8. Mental health

Around 1 in 6 people in the UK have a common mental health problem such as anxiety or depression. A further 2 in 100 are affected by severe mental health problems such as schizophrenia.

MindEd contains a wealth of information for anybody working with children and young people’s mental health issues.

If you are an apprentice with a mental health condition affecting you at work, please contact Remploy for help from the supporting apprentices service.

9. Disabled people’s user led organisations

Disabled people’s user led organisations (DPULOs) can provide peer support in areas such as social care, financial services, employment and volunteering.

10. Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has its own services to help young disabled people find and stay in work.