Employment for young people with SEND

Where possible everybody should have the opportunity to take part in the world of work through paid employment. Finding employment and entering the world of work is something many young people wish to do.

A job means you can:

  • have greater independence
  • meet new people
  • learn new skills
  • earn money for days out, buy items you want and to pay your rent if you are living independently.

Careers Advice

When you start to think about work and the types of jobs that interest you, it is helpful to talk to someone who is an expert in the types of jobs that are available in your local area, and who can support you in thinking about what might suit your interests and skills best.

In England, schools have a duty to provide independent careers advice to students from year 8 through to year 13. This could involve providing information and advice from a careers advisor, information on college courses, visits from employers or signposting you to websites and helplines. Colleges also provide careers advice and guidance. 

Gaining skills and routes into work 

There are different routes to finding employment that you can take.

You can register on job sites or with an agency which will give you access to different opportunities, or you could look for an internship or a supported internship, work and take a professional qualification or do a distance learning course.

If you are not sure about finding a job at the moment you may decide to look at developing your skills and experience further. This could be through: 

  • work experience  
  • volunteering  
  • traineeships/internships/supported internships 
  • apprenticeships  

More information about work experience, traineeships and apprenticeships is available on our Post 16 education and training pages.

The National development team for inclusion website has a guide which provides information about possible routes into work for young people with special educational needs and disabilities. The website also gives information and resources about other aspects of preparing for adulthood.  

Curriculum Vitae

Some employers may ask for a Curriculum Vitae (CV). The CV gives your basic information and details of your experience, achievements and skills in no more than two sides of A4. The National Careers Service has advice on writing a CV.