Supported Employment

Somerset Supported Employment

Imagine the Possibilities if you had the Opportunities

Our Goals – Our goals are set to bridge the gap between students and employers, making life better and easier for all parties.  Employers invested in the Disability Confident Scheme help disabled people into work.
Employers who already use this scheme take a positive approach to disability and offer interviews to all disabled applicants who meet the minimum job criteria.

  • Better staff reliability
  • Reduced sickness rates
  • Lower staff turnover
  • Increased customer and staff loyalty
  • Improved morale at work

Our Story – For the Love of Employment – Somerset Supported Employment was established in 2019 to facilitate the development of Supported Employment throughout Somerset.  Supported Employment assists people with disability or disadvantage to access employment opportunities of their own choice and to become economically independent and socially active.

Our Students – Crafted with Joy – We would love to see everyone who completes a supported employment scheme equipped with skills and confidence and feeling job-ready.  Our students are aged between 16-25 and some are on an Education, Health & Care Plan which outlines any special educational need that they may have.  Success to us is an individual moving into paid employment and thriving with their newfound skills.

The Three Ships Offer:

Supported Internship – A structured study programme that enables young people to achieve sustainable paid employment by equipping them with the skills they need for work, through learning in the workplace.  Supported Internships are unpaid, and last for a minimum of six months.

Supported Traineeship – A Traineeship is an education and unpaid training programme with work experience that unlocks the great potential of young people who want to get an apprenticeship or job but don’t yet have appropriate skills or experience.

Supported Apprenticeship – A Supported Apprenticeship is a programme that trains a worker to become skilled in a particular trade.  Apprenticeships combine hands-on work with classroom learning.  Apprenticeships are considered full-time employment.

A recent systematic review of research for MENCAP and Beyer found strong links between how employing people with a learning disability benefits employers, including:

  • Better staff reliability
  • Reduced sickness rates
  • Lower staff turnover
  • Increased customer and staff loyalty
  • Improved morale at work

How do I do it?

Get in touch with us!!!

Contact Julie Walker JJWalker@somerset.gov.uk or Julie Young JAYoung@somerset.gov.uk in the first instance.

WE KNOW THAT PEOPLE WITH A LEARNING DISABILITY CAN AND DO MAKE HARD WORKING AND ENTHUSIASTIC EMPLOYEES. THEY BRING NEW SKILLS, TALENTS AND PERSPECTIVES TO THEIR EMPLOYERS AND, WITH THE RIGHT SUPPORT, THEY WILL REMAIN LOYAL AND LONGSTANDING EMPLOYEES.
DR. JULIE YOUNG
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FAQs

A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability and difficulty with everyday activities – for example household tasks, socialising or managing money – which affects someone for their whole life.

People with a learning disability tend to take longer to learn and may need support to develop new skills, understand complicated information and interact with other people.

We encourage employers to keep an open mind, as everyone is different.  However, the type of roles that would generally suit most people with a learning disability include those that:

  • Require practical skills that can be learnt through practice and repetition
  • Do not require a high-level qualification
  • Do not require a driving license
  • Have fixed elements and only include minimal multitasking
  • Involve working within a team where tasks can be shared and support offered
  • Include options to do specific parts of a job description but not all of it (called job-carving)

The Education, Health & Care Plan or EHCP is a legal binding document which sets out the education, health and social care needs a child or young person has and the support that is necessary to cater for those needs.

All employees, whether or not they are disabled, have changes in their performance levels.  These could be problems with attendance, behaviour or conduct.  Before starting action to deal with poor performance, you must make reasonable adjustments to allow a disabled employee to improve their performance.

Yes, employers must make reasonable adjustments to make sure workers with disabilities or physical or mental health conditions aren’t substantially disadvantaged when doing their jobs.  These are changes such as visual fire alarms, wheelchair ramps and changing their equipment, for instance providing a special keyboard if they have arthritis.

Additional Costs:

There is a legal requirement for employers to make reasonable adjustments to the workplace when employing somebody with a learning disability.  But these do not always cost money, for example, when they are provided by external supported employment services.

It is important to weigh up the economic benefits and positive impact on your workplace against these costs, which include long-term savings, employee loyalty and improved staff morale.

And more – research has shown that:

  • 55% of 128 employers reported just a one-time cost for making reasonable adjustments
  • 65% of employers disagreed that considerable expense was necessary to accommodate workers with disabilities
  • 65% of 2.024 employers rated adjustments to be cost-neutral
  • On average, adjustment costs are only £75.00

With the right support, people with a learning disability can make fantastic, dedicated, hardworking employees and add real value to your organisation in a number of ways – but that starts with putting the right reasonable adjustments in place.  These commonly include things like:

  • Task-based adjustments and job carving
  • Changes to work processes and policies
  • Flexible hours and supervision
  • In-work support / job coach (not additional support costs to the employer)
  • Providing alternatives to online-only application processes
  • Offering work trials as an alternative to a formal interview.

Get in touch with us for more information

Contact Julie Walker JJWalker@somerset.gov.uk or Julie Young JAYoung@somerset.gov.uk in the first instance.

Is there funding available?

Access to Work funding usually provides a grant to pay for the cost of the support.  For example, they can provide funds towards special aids and equipment, adaptions to equipment, travel to and from work, communication support at interview and a wide variety of support workers.

Access to Work also has a mental health support service.

Access to Work is a discretionary Government scheme that pays a grant to employers which can go towards extra employment costs that result from a person’s disability.  This can offset the cost of putting in place reasonable adjustments including additional equipment or adaptations that might be required – one less cost to worry about!!

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Employer Section:

‘Did you know that 1 in 50 people in the UK have a learning disability, but just 6% are in paid employment?’ – The Health and Social Care Information Centre.

What is Supported Employment?

There are there are 3 Supported Employment programmes, the Supported Internship, the Supported Traineeship and the Supported Apprenticeship.

Supported Internship:

Supported Internships are for young people aged 16-24 who have an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP). 

The programme can be tailored to the unique needs and career aspirations of the individual, and usually:

  • Is a full-time study programme
  • Offers a long-term work experience placement
  • Enables each individual to learn the skills they need for work through practical on-the-job learning, supported by a job coach
  • Is very flexible and can be delivered as an accredited or non-accredited provision.

What’s usually included:

  • Assessment of prior learning and educational attainment
  • Vocational profiling – information about an individual’s abilities and interests
  • Enrolment and induction
  • Pre-placement preparation
  • Matching an employer according to skills, development needs and choice
  • Work experience – 1 to 3 placements usually depending on the person and the employer
  • Support provided throughout the placement by a job coach
  • Accredited or non-accredited work-related and personal development learning, including English and maths
  • Observation and records of progress and achievement
  • Non-accredited personal and social development, for example, travel training, communication skills, social skills for the workplace, money management and timekeeping skills as well as plans to move onto other pathways to work
  • Sustainability and tracking – working with the employer and individual to make sure that the placement is a success.

Supported Traineeship – how it works:

A traineeship is an education and training programme with work experience designed for young people who are motivated to work, but may currently lack the skills, experience and behaviours sought by employers.

A Traineeship includes:

  • A work experience placement
  • Work preparation training
  • Support with the development of English and maths skills.

Work experience within a Traineeship should be a high-quality placement that is tailored to the individual needs of the learners, lasting at least 100 hours but not exceeding 240 hours.  Your training provider will support both you and the trainee to ensure this runs smoothly.  This will include the option of a job coach at no cost to you.  They work alongside the trainee to help them learn new skills at a suitable pace so there is no additional impact on your time.  English and maths support will reflect the requirements of the job whilst enabling the trainee to move towards qualifications if appropriate.  The training provider will help you to develop the traineeship programme.

How long?  A Traineeship can last between six weeks and six months.

What does it cost?  Not a penny.  Supported Traineeships are fully funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) pay for the job coach through the individual’s Access to Work grant.  Some employers like to pay for travel and /or lunch expenses for the trainee, but this is optional.

 

Job Coaches – A Job Coach is an individual who is employed to help people with disabilities learn, accommodate and perform their work duties successfully.  They may work with individuals one-to-one and / or in a small group.  In addition to working on skills related to performing specific job tasks, a job coach also helps with interpersonal skills necessary in the workplace.  Young people are supported by job coaches, who are funded by Government, through Access to Work support.

The Difference you can make:

Only 6% of people with a learning disability of working age are currently in paid work.  This is largely due to people not having the right experience or qualifications, or inability to present themselves well through a standard recruitment process.  Supported Employment programmes are one of the first steps a person with a learning disability might take, opening doors to other opportunities that lead to greater independence and a fulfilling, happy life.

What are the benefits of Supported Employment?

A Supported Employment programme gives you a chance to see what an individual can do before agreeing to take them on as a paid employee or apprentice.  What’s more, it also:

  • Shows you the business benefits that people with a learning disability can offer, such as staying in entry-level jobs
  • Offers you the opportunity to shape the young person’s training and experience to match your business needs, upcoming vacancies and areas of staff shortage or high turnover
  • Allows you to work with young people over a significant period of time, to enable them to acquire the right skills to enter your workforce
  • Have been designed to be as simple and flexible as possible, enabling the training provider to deliver a programme matched to your exact business needs
  • Enables you to access a talent pool that may have been previously overlooked
  • Is an opportunity to create a more diverse workforce in your organisation, which can also boost staff morale.

And more!! – recent research has shown:

  • Reduced turnover – people with a learning disability stay in their job 3.5 times longer than their non-disabled co-workers – making a significant saving in recruitment costs.
  • That there is no significant difference in work performance between workers with a disability and their non-disabled co-workers.
  • That employing people with a learning disability champions inclusion and boosts staff morale. 25% of employers regard this as an important factor in deciding to employ people with a learning disability
  • 87% customers in one study specifically agreed that they would prefer to give their business to companies that hire people with disabilities.

 

How do I do it?

Get in touch with us!!!

Contact Julie Walker JJWalker@somerset.gov.uk or Julie Young JAYoung@somerset.gov.uk in the first instance.

Available Support:

Quote:  ‘Did you know that 1 in 50 people in the UK have a learning disability, but just 6% are in paid employment?’ – The Health and Social Care Information Centre.

Job Coaches – A Job Coach is an individual who is employed to help people with disabilities learn, accommodate and perform their work duties successfully.  They may work with individuals one-to-one and / or in a small group.  In addition to working on skills related to performing specific job tasks, a job coach also helps with interpersonal skills necessary in the workplace.  Young people are supported by job coaches, who are funded by Government, through Access to Work support.

 

Access to Work:

Access to Work is the funding that is available to support any additional employment costs that result from a student’s disability.

 

We are here for you!

A bespoke package of personalised training and development will be provided for you the ‘employer’ and co-workers.  The frequency of the visits that a Job Coach will make to the new employee will depend on their needs and the needs of the employer and co-workers.

Supported Employment services can be provided by both public and private sector employers of all sizes, including micro businesses and SMEs.

 

Reasonable Adjustments:

With the right support, people with a learning disability can make fantastic, dedicated, hardworking employees and add real value to your organisation in a number of ways – but that starts with putting the right reasonable adjustments in place.  These commonly include things like:

  • Task-based adjustments and job carving
  • Changes to work processes and policies
  • Flexible hours and supervision
  • In-work support / job coach (not additional support costs to the employer)
  • Providing alternatives to online-only application processes
  • Offering work trials as an alternative to a formal interview.

Basically, reasonable adjustments are just little things that can make a big difference, removing barriers that enable individuals to get on with the job they’ve been employed to do.

 

 

 

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Student Section: Coming Soon!

Parents Section: Coming soon!

Training Providers: Coming Soon!

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Liam

Liam has worked on his traineeship with HOST. He has shown hard work and dedication to the role.

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Finn

Finn has been working really well in his traineeship at HPC. His role as Stores man has allowed him to pick orders, loading orders along with completing relevant paperwork.

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Contact details

East Somerset Support

Julie Walker
07702 593684
JJWalker@somerset.gov.uk

South Somerset Support

Emma France
078332 88879 emma.france@yhg.co.uk

Sedgemoor and Taunton Support

Dr Julie Young
07977 401897 JAYoung@somerset.gov.uk

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