Somerset Supported Employment

Imagine the possibilities if you had the opportunities

Supported Employment is designed to help individuals overcome barriers to employment and gain valuable skills and experience.

Supported Apprenticeships and Traineeships will provide individuals with practical skills and work experience in a particular industry or occupation while receiving additional support and guidance to help them succeed. They are tailored to people who may face barriers to employment or training, such as those with disabilities, and can benefit both individuals and employers.

Research has shown that both supported apprenticeships and traineeships and supported employment can be highly effective in helping individuals overcome barriers to employment and improve their overall quality of life. These programs are typically funded through government and private sources and may be available through vocational rehabilitation agencies, disability service providers, or other community organisations.

Supported Apprenticeships
Supported Traineeships
Supported Apprenticeships and Traineeships
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.

Project SEARCH

Discovery Employer Engagement

HPC Supported Traineeships

Frequently asked questions (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 or Julie Young 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!!


Imagine the Possibilities

An innovative range of new post-16 options resources has been created to help families, teachers, and students understand and navigate the processes involved in moving from school into the many different post-16 options, especially for those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.


Videos about Supported Employment in Somerset

View Videos

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.


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


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.

Contact details

Get in touch for free, impartial advice from our Apprenticeship and Skills Advisers

No question too big or small.  

Looking to improve your skills or your employees? 

Skill Up Somerset are here for you

East Somerset Support

Julie Walker
07702 593684

South Somerset Support

Emma France
078332 88879

Sedgemoor and Taunton Support

Dr Julie Young
07977 401897