School leavers can still aim for employment after Year 11 as long as the job involves a training programme. Everyone has to be in a place of learning until they are 18. Many of our students benefit from extra time at school and college before aiming at a job.
At school, students will have careers lessons where they will find out about the world of work. Many can also go on work experience where they can get a real taste of a job.
There are several agencies that help people with special needs to find work. These include:
Mencap (www.mencap.org.uk Leeds Royal Mencap, The Vinery Centre, 20 Vinery Terrace, York Road, Leeds LS9 9LU Tel: 0113 827 0058) They offer a programme called Employ Me which supports people into paid employment. They also offer Supported Internships and Traineeships.
SCOPE (www.scope.org.uk i2Office, No. 1 Leeds, 26 Whitehall Road, Leeds LS12 1BE Tel: 0113 357 0330). They offer a programme called Kick Start for those job ready and one called Starting Line for those who need more support.
Specialist Autism Services (www.specialistautismservices.org Great Northern House, Junction 7 Business Park, Stourton, Leeds LS10 3DQ Tel; 0113 277 5656). Programmes include support to access Apprenticeships.
With the end of Connexions, Leeds City Council now run Jobshops for young people throughout the city – often on One Stop Centres. These can help young people who become unemployed. Aspire-igen (33 Eastgate, Leeds LS2 7RD Tel : 0330 111 0035) can also help young people look for work and also run training programmes.
Careerships, Traineeships and Apprenticeships can be hard to access for many of our students. Apprenticeships tend to be offered at Levels 2 or 3. Careerships or Traineeships can aim to raise students’ level and may be available at Level 1 or at Entry Level. Support there may be less that at school or college. This website www.aspire-igen.com has some information – look at aspire2work. NACRO also offer programmes that may suit some of our students (www.nacro.org.uk).
Supported Internships are being developed in Leeds at the present time and will allow schools, colleges and other providers to support young people into long term work placements with the intention of it turning into a paid job. They are available to those 16-25 with an EHCP. We are running them in school and they are also being offered elsewhere including Leeds City College and Lighthouse Futures Trust (www.lighthousefuturestrust.org.uk).
www.startinleeds.com is the new website where all local information is kept. You can also apply to most places from this website.
nationalcareers.service.gov.uk offers advice on line and over the phone. Good section on website with job details – go to Explore Careers.
www.leedslocaloffer.org.uk (range of local options)
www.doinggoodleeds.org.uk (for details on volunteering in Leeds)
www.through-the-maze.org.uk (information on a range of local services for people with learning disabilities)
www.leeds.gov.uk/youthinformationHub (information on a range of topics)
Social Services Provision/ Support for those who may not work
Some of our leavers will not work after they leave school or college. Some may work later on. If you have a Social Worker it would be good to ask them about support they can offer. This could include going to a Fulfilling Lives Centre but also to day services which can include activities in the community with support. Some of this support can be provided directly but you may be able to access Direct Payments where you can buy services yourself. You may be able to access Direct Payments of you have a CAF (Common Assessment Framework) but no Social Worker.
If you do not have a Social Worker it may be worth asking for an assessment to see if your child meets their criteria for support. As children get older needs change – so even if you have not needed this support before you may now. Apart from day provision you may also want to ask about independent living for the future.
The call centre for Leeds Adult Social Services is 0113 222 4401.
Some worthwhile services can be seen at www.aspirecbs.org.uk
Vine is now part of Leeds City College. Courses run three days a week. A few students have attended for five days when Social Services have offered extra funding. Vine offers a last chance of full-time further education although that may not suit everyone.
Future Horizons www.futurehorizonsleeds.com which has centres in Pudsey and Kirkstall and a range of off-site activities. It was started by parents from West SILC and is an alternative to Vine at 19 but can also offer support for days not in Vine and for when vine finishes. It now receives education funding for those with EHCPs.
Affinity Trust (www.affinitytrust.org The Gatehouse, Curtis Buildings, Berking Avenue, Leeds LS9 9LF Tel 0113 468 4460) has a day centre off York Road from which users are supported into off site activities.
Acorns Autism Community Support (www.voyagecare.com/service/acorns-autism-community-support Killingbeck Drive, York Road, Leeds LS14 6UF have a centre with off site activities. For those with autism and learning disabilities.