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SEND recruitment, for employers and organisations

Here at NE Lincs Local Authority, we are working with a range of employers to share information, give support and increase the number of young people with additional needs (SEND) who are in paid employment in our local area.

Employers who take an active role in the careers process of young people, can realise a whole host of benefits, from identifying a diverse range of skills and abilities they need within their own business, to improving their employee engagement and development. No matter whether you are a small, medium or large enterprise, using this resource will ensure your organisation and employees enjoy a positive and beneficial experience from working with young people with SEND.

Gov.uk says: “Encouraging applications from disabled people is good for business. It can help you to:

  • increase the number of high quality applicants available
  • create a workforce that reflects the diverse range of customers it serves and the community in which it is based
  • bring additional skills to the business, such as the ability to use British Sign Language (BSL), which could result in large savings

The costs of making reasonable adjustments to accommodate disabled employees are often low.

The benefits of retaining an experienced, skilled employee who has acquired an impairment are usually greater than recruiting and training new staff. It is also good for the individual.”

What are Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)?

A child or young person has special educational needs and disabilities if they have a learning difficulty and/or a disability that means they need special health and education support, we shorten this to SEND.

There are a lot of misconceptions about SEND for people who don’t have lived experience of it.

Try this quiz to test your knowledge. Learning Disability Week Mythbusters Quiz with Teachers Notes.pdf (mencap.org.uk)

Supported internships

Gov.uk has lots of information on supported internships. Supported internships – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

A supported internship is different to a traditional internship because your intern has the support of a job coach.

What is a supported internship?

A supported internship allows a young person to experience work in a field that they enjoy with the support of a job coach.

Supported interns are enrolled and supported by a learning provider, for example, a school or college, but spend most of their learning time – typically around 70% – in a workplace.

Supported interns are in full-time education and their supported internship work placements are part of their course. There is no legal requirement or expectation that the supported intern will be paid. Supported internships are exempt from the National Minimum Wage regulation.
Supported internships last for a minimum of 6 months, and up to a year.

Local supported internships
Linkage College works with Diana Princess of Wales Hospital so that their students can try roles like catering, hospitality, and portering.

Grimsby Institute of Higher and Further Education is working with Grimsby Crematorium and other local businesses so that their students can work in areas like hospitality and food, and grounds maintenance.

How does a job coach support me as an employer?

Pre-work placement activity

The pre-work placement activity is best delivered by job coaches, given their training. This work falls under the following categories:

  • vocational profiling and assessment
  • sourcing potential employers and identifying possible internship placements
  • creating productive links between the intern and employer through job analysis, job matches, negotiating and ‘carving’ job roles[footnote 1]
  • practical support such as sourcing and gathering relevant documentation for work, understanding the dress code and workplace culture
  • helping interns to sort out travel arrangements (for example, planning routes or getting bus passes) and accompanying them on visits to the workplace prior to starting a job

A job coach can support an employer by:

  • explaining a supported intern’s strengths, support needs and successful communication strategies
  • providing information about a particular condition or impairment and advising on reasonable adjustments
  • suggesting appropriate ways to explain tasks, developing supporting accessible resources of use to the wider workforce
  • introducing the supported intern to their colleagues and offering colleagues advice on how to best support and include the intern
  • being a first point of call if issues or problems arise and negotiating solutions
  • identifying additional or more challenging tasks or roles that a supported intern could take on
  • ensuring supported interns are on task and meeting workplace standards and expectations (for example, time-keeping and attendance)
How does a job coach support my intern?

The support a job coach provides for a supported intern in the workplace includes:

  • learning the job role in readiness for training the supported intern, and attending workplace inductions
  • training the supported intern to master tasks by breaking them down and applying systematic instruction techniques
  • checking supported interns’ understanding of tasks and re-phrasing or repeating employer instructions when necessary
  • producing visual or written aids (for example, a step-by-step task list) and ensuring any assistive technology is provided
  • encouraging supported intern self-assessment and reflection as part of target-setting, monitoring and reviewing progress
  • modelling workplace behaviours
  • mentoring and confidence-building, including supporting interns to try out new ways to do things if they are not successful at first
  • negotiating an increase in responsibilities or new activities
  • trouble-shooting or advocating for supported interns when things go wrong
  • identifying skills development needs and either addressing them or referring to other staff
  • if the need for support tapers off, regular workplace visits and observation of supported interns

Hundreds of young adults are overlooked for jobs because of a disability or autism despite being skilled and ready to work.

Research shows that the majority of young people with SEND are capable of getting paid employment, with the right preparation and support.


SEND Employment Forum

All local businesses and organisations are invited to the SEND Employment Forum to learn more about hiring young people with SEND. This is a chance to network with other organisations and leaders in SEND.
The forum will be establishing strong links between local colleges and service providers to create a strong foundation for an inclusive and diverse workforce.

The forum is held every eight weeks.

The official launch event is on Wednesday November 29 from 8:30am-12pm at 155-159 Freeman Street, Grimsby, DN32 7AR (Learning4Life building).

The forum is hosted by Annie Cook, Lead Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) Coordinator for Post 16.

“Hi, my name is Annie and my role is to support young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities to take their first steps into employment. Take a look at how you can get involved and make a real difference to our community.

“I also host the SEND Employment Forum which is a chance for businesses to network with services and leaders involved in SEND.”

If you would like to know more about supported internships/ employment and or the Forum please get in touch at askannie@nelincs.gov.uk or text 07595 122306.