Supported employment (for employers)

People with autism or learning disabilities deserve the same opportunities in life as their peers, including paid employment. We believe supported employment is everyone’s responsibility.

Benefits to your business include:

  • increased productivity
  • reduced staff turnover
  • improved staff morale
  • small costs, big benefits
  • enhanced corporate social responsibility

Benefits to the employee include:

  • improved health and wellbeing
  • increased social inclusion
  • better financial independence
  • development of productivity and confidence
  • higher quality opportunities in employment and training

Key steps for an inclusive recruitment approach:

Step one: review your recruitment and selection process

Step two: job specification

  • use a strength based approach to capitalise on staff skills to meet your business needs
  • consider job carving and job design

Step three: advertise and demonstrate that you are Disability Confident

  • create easy to read job applications
  • promote a guaranteed interview scheme
  • ensure the job advert represents staff diversity

Step four: interviewing

Step five: job offer

Step six: employment commences

  • work in partnership with job coaches from Supported Employment Services to develop an action plan that clearly identifies the steps to support and retain the progression of the new recruit - email to arrange
  • designate a mentor for the new employee

Consider committing to one or more of the following:

  • becoming an advocate or lead for supported employment in your organisation
  • becoming a Disability Confident employer
  • hosting a work experience placement or a work trial
  • creating a paid role for a person with a learning disability and/or autism
  • hosting an employer visit or work taster
  • sharing with others what you do as a business or in your role
  • becoming a member of the Mayor’s Employment Charter

Useful links:

If you would like to find out more about supported employment or to pledge to support any of the above, please email or telephone 0161 793 2533.

Case study: Overcoming Challenges and Finding Success with Seddon

Michael Hearn, a determined individual who has overcome numerous challenges, found himself facing multiple obstacles in his journey to secure employment. Despite his disability affecting his vision, Michael's perseverance and the support of the Kickstart programme and his employer, Seddon, has propelled him towards success.

Michael Hearne, stood outside, looking ahead and smiling

Michael's quest for employment began after graduating from university. However, navigating the job market proved daunting due to his disability. Finding suitable opportunities seemed like an uphill battle for him, and he encountered various difficulties during interviews, where the lack of reasonable adjustments hindered his performance.

Michael soon discovered the Kickstart programme, a scheme launched by the government to deliver funding for employers offering new job roles for 16 to 24 years olds who are currently in receipt of Universal Credit. Upon engaging with Kickstart, Michael experienced a newfound sense of support and encouragement. The Salford City Council Skills and Work Team, who facilitated the Kickstart programme, regularly reached out to him, discussing potential roles and offering guidance tailored to his abilities and aspirations. With their assistance, Michael embraced the opportunity to apply for diverse roles, including one at Seddon.

The recruitment process at Seddon proved to be a refreshing change for Michael. His manager, Stephen Foster, Head of Direct Services, created a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere during the interview, making Michael feel comfortable and valued. The informal process allowed Michael to openly discuss his disability-related challenges, which were met with understanding and support, and ultimately, a position of employment.

After six months of working at Seddon through Kickstart, a position as an Assistant Aftercare Co-ordinator became available for Michael. He received tailored support to ensure his success from Kim Littlewood, Aftercare Manager, who played a pivotal role in his support, providing a new laptop with magnification features as well as flexible working arrangements.

In his role, Michael communicates with clients and housing associations to address issues reported by residents. He enjoys the friendly environment at Seddon and appreciates the opportunity to liaise directly with residents and tradespeople, contributing to the efficient resolution of issues. Now over two years into his employment, Michael has reflected on his journey from struggling to secure employment to thriving in his role at Seddon. He emphasises the importance of perseverance and networking, advising others facing similar challenges to remain resilient and proactive in their job search.

Meet our Supported Employment key worker team!

The team support and help residents to develop key skills, find work opportunities, build experience and confidence so that they're ready for the world of work. Our team offer one-to-one support, including in-work training and guidance for both participants and employers, which can include workplace adjustments.

Displayed in order: Lynne, Lorraine, Agata, Asmaa, Emma

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This page was last updated on 22 May 2024

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