Employment is one of the ways of being independent. Research shows that those people in employment are healthier, happier and take part in more social activities in their community than those who aren’t.
Employment is desirable and all young people are encouraged to think about what they would like to do and how to get the right experience, training and qualifications.
Looking for a job
Careers Southwest can help young people enrol in college education, look for work, offer advice relating to making the right decisions about their future https://www.cswgroup.co.uk
You may also benefit from making an appointment with a Disability Employment Advisor at your local job centre, who may be aware of various training, study and /or employment schemes that might be of interest to him, such as the PLUSS employment scheme which provided individually tailored support to help individuals to find work and to help them remain in their employment position.
https://pluss.org.uk/positive-people/areas/cornwall/ (for information)
https://pluss.org.uk/contact/locations/ (for contact details)
Information about employment support can be found on the Cornwall Council website. There are several schemes for young people aged 15-24 including COMPASS, Health Works for Cornwall, Kickstart Scheme, Skills your way which can help support young people gain work experience and the skills needed to seek employment. More information can be found on the following website:
United Response also offer employment advice and support. They can be contacted to carry out an assessment of how best they may be able to support on 01872 250150. More information can be found on the following website:
Sport 4 Life UK gives young people the life skills needed to move into education, training and employment through sports‑themed personal development services. Get active, build confidence and get the qualifications you need to get a job and earn money.
Applying for a job
20 Tips to Ace Any Job Interview!
Starting a New Job!
You will be told about how you will be paid. It may be weekly or monthly. They can tell you what day you will be paid and you will need to provide bank details. Once paid you should receive a payslip which lists your earnings and deductions (such as tax and national insurance- see Money section).
A P60 is a form that explains how much you’ve earned over the tax year (which runs from 6 April to 5 April the following year). It also includes how much you’ve paid in National Insurance contributions and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) income tax.
The information on your P60 is drawn from information submitted by:
- you in your self-assessment tax return
- your employer, including bonuses, benefits, the hours you work, your salary
- your pension provider, including total contributions, how regularly you pay into your pension, tax deductions
- and the Department of Work and Pensions, which shares any state benefits you’re paid.
Why is a P60 important?- Your P60 form is proof of the tax you’ve paid for that year. You’ll often be asked to provide a copy of your P60 when applying for a mortgage, property rental or other financial service as proof of your salary.
Leving a job
When you leave a job, your former employer should issue you with a P45 form. This details your salary and the taxes you’ve paid to date in the tax year.
When you leave an employer, it is their responsibility to issue a P45 form.
The form has four parts – Part 1, Part 1A, Part 2 and Part 3. Part 1 is sent to HMRC, Part 1A is for you to keep for your records, and Part 2 and 3 are for you to give to your new employer – or Jobcentre Plus if you’re not working.
In each section, the P45 provides a record of how much you’ve earned and what taxes you’ve paid.
Why is a P45 important?
You’ll need your P45 when changing jobs, as your new employer will use it to make sure you are put on the correct tax code. Without it, you may end up being put on an emergency tax code or paying too much tax. You may need to use the information in a P45 to fill out a tax return, if you are sent one. If you’re not working, you’ll need your P45 to claim tax refunds and social welfare benefits. Your P45 is also important for making sure you are not charged too much tax when withdrawing money from your pension.
In Cornwall we have given priority to employability as the key to young people living a healthy, happy life. There is lots of research evidence that demonstrates the importance of work. It gives a sense of purpose; the chance to make friends; to get out of the house and socialise. Of course, the chance to get some money and independence are important too.
If you are aged between 16 and 25 with an Education, Health and Care plan you are eligible for a Supported Internship programme where you would spend the majority of the time in an employer’s premises in a work role with the support of a job coach as needed. The aim is to develop your working skills including maths and English as necessary. Supported Internships act like working interviews and many interns gain employment with their employer. Employers are encouraged to view you as an employee and you will be expected to work to the same standards as your colleagues and ‘add value’ to your employer’s business. The job coach will help you to do this by identifying the tasks and jobs you are capable of doing and those that you will need specific training and instruction for. The job coach will also work with the employer and your colleagues so that everyone knows what you are doing and how you fit into the team.
Transition Interests into Marketable Skills
After you identify your interests, look for ways you can make money while practicing those interests. If you enjoy playing video games, look at programming or graphic design. Likewise, you could pursue a career in finance if you are a detailed person or stock shelves if you like to organize things. This can pay well if you work at night and means that you have less need to engage with people.
Consider Non-Traditional Employment Opportunities
In addition to the traditional full-time job, you may thrive in a non-traditional work environment. You could choose to work different seasonal jobs throughout the year or start your own business.
Freelancing, part-time work, and job sharing are other options. In each case, you can put your interests to work and match your sensory, social and other needs.
People with autism possess a vast array of talents, skills, and interests that can transform into a successful career. You can use these tips to discover and hone your talents and choose a career that fits your abilities.
Work experience describes a few days or weeks during which you gain some practical experience in an industry that interests you.
What you’ll do will vary depending on the workplace and industry. Generally, it’ll involve light work without too much responsibility. It’ll give you a taste of what a career in the role would look like.
Choosing work experience that relates directly to your interests is a great place to start, but you shouldn’t rule out the idea of trying more unusual jobs if you’re tempted.
You can organise work experience by yourself. Use people you know either friends or contacts to get your first tastes of work experience. Focus on your interests and hobbies such as a vet, animal rescue or in a shop, community library or café which can be good first options. It can help you to decide what you do and don’t want to do in the future. It may also help you to decide what to study at college.
You need to decide what information you disclose to the people having you for work experience, but in general it is good to be open about your strengths and areas of difficulty. Also mention if you will need movement breaks. You may find yourself “masking” around these new people which can be exhausting.
Work experience for young people on SEN support
Supported internships with an EHCP
As stated in the ‘Post-16 skills plan’, we want all young people with an EHC plan to undertake a supported internship unless there is a good reason for them not to.
Supported internships are one of the most effective routes to employment for young people with EHC plans. They are a structured study programme, based primarily at an employer. They help young people get paid jobs by giving them the skills they need for work.
Supported internships are unpaid, and last for a minimum of 6 months. Where possible, young people will move into paid employment at the end of the programme. Alongside their time at the employer, young people complete a personalised study programme and are supported by an expert job coach where needed.
Supporting young people who have not found a job
19 to 25-year-olds who make a benefit claim will be invited to meet a work coach at the Jobcentre. For those claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance (JSA), this will be as soon as possible. For those claiming Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and presenting a fit note, this will be within 4 to 6 weeks of their claim. At the Jobcentre, the work coach will discuss the young person’s needs and any barriers to work. They’ll then agree a plan of action (a ‘claimants’ commitment’) detailing their plans to find work.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) offers specialist employment programmes to support people into work. These include the Work Programme, Work Choice and the Specialist Employment Service. Work coaches will also signpost claimants to other local options. An Access to Work grant provides support to those with a disability or health condition who need help to work. Those with a longer term disability or health condition will have a Work Capability Assessment.
Funding for those with no EHC plan
Eligibility to receive public funding through the Education and Skills Funding Agency is the same for all eligible learners regardless of disability.
For students aged 19 and above who don’t have an EHC plan, learner support funding may be available to help them meet:
- the additional needs of learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities
- the costs of reasonable adjustments as set out in the Equality Act 2010
This support can cover a range of needs including:
- funding to pay for specialist equipment and helpers
- arranging note takers
- particular help in lectures and seminars
- special arrangements for exams
In all instances learners should contact their provider to confirm they’re eligible for funding, and to check that the qualification or course they wish to study is funded by the ESFA.
For students aged 19 to 25 without EHC plans, further education (FE) providers receive money from the ESFA to meet the costs of reasonable adjustments. Under the Equality Act 2010, FE providers must make reasonable adjustments to avoid disabled students being placed at a ‘substantial disadvantage’.
All aspects of studying are covered including:
- course admissions
- the provision of education
- access to any benefit, facility or service, for example flexible courses
Private education and training providers also have duties under part 3 of the Children and Families Act as service providers.
Special adjustments for interviews
You have the right to ask for changes to job interviews and tests.
A good interview and test should assess the skills for the job. It should not put you at a disadvantage because of your impairment. If it can be changed so that being disabled does not put you at a disadvantage, then this is a reasonable adjustment. Employers must provide reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010.
Many companies will ask if you need adjustments in the application form or when you are invited to interview. You do not have to ‘disclose’ your condition when you are applying for a job. But, if you are going to ask for reasonable adjustments, you will need to say that you are disabled.
Examples of reasonable adjustments in job interviews and tests
What counts as a reasonable adjustment depends on the type of job and the tests needed to see if you can do it. Common examples include:
- a British Sign Language interpreter
- assistance if the test is on a computer, such as a larger screen, software or a person to read for you
- more time to complete assessments
- asking for interview questions in advance
You can apply to Access to Work to get money for communication support at a job interview.
Apply for communication support at a job interview (GOV.UK)
Asking for adjustments
You are the expert on your specific requirements. Contact the person who offered you the interview. Find out what’s going to happen at your interview and ask for the changes that you feel you need to the interview or any tests.
Start by asking:
- What will be needed from me on the day?
- What will the format of the interview be?
- How will you be testing me?
If you need to, ask more specific questions, like:
- Is there level access to the interview room?
- Will I be using a computer? Should I bring mine? (Explain why if you need to.)
- Will there be a handwritten test?
- How many people will be interviewing me?
- How long will the interview last?
- As early as possible, say what you need and why you need it. The earlier you ask, the more likely you are to get what you need.
Do not assume that the person you’re asking knows anything about disability.
- that you’re disabled and in what way, for example ‘an eye condition’
- which parts of the test are inaccessible because you’re disabled
- what you need on the day and why
“I have an eye condition that means that I need a lower light for me to work effectively. Can you adjust the lighting in the room? Or can we change the venue?”
Send an email– Summarise what you need in an email so that there is a written record of what you asked for.
A written record makes it easier for your request to be sent to other people in the company. You could also use it as evidence of discrimination at a tribunal if the employer:
- changes their mind and decide that they do not want to interview you
- does not make the adjustments that you need
- If they refuse your request for a reasonable adjustment
Ask if they can think of any ways that they could make the test accessible, while still testing for the skills that they need.
If you cannot agree on adjustments, this could be discrimination.