Your job options
There are many different jobs available for you.
Every job will ask for different things for you to be able to apply for the role. You may need skills for some, and qualifications for others.
What having a job means to me
In this video from Mencap, you'll hear why people love having jobs, and why it makes them feel independent.
Who to talk to about your options
If you are unsure what job you're suited to, what qualifications, skills or training your need, you should talk to your careers advisor.
All education settings, including local authority maintained pupil referral units must give you the opportunity to speak to a registered careers advisor.
If your education setting doesn't have a careers advisor, you should raise this with the board of governors or Ofsted.
You can also contact:
- the careers helpline for teenagers
- the National Careers Service
- Kent Supported Employment
- a career support service on our directory
- your family and friends who are working.
For parents and carers looking for advice to help your young person visit the Youth Employment UK website.
Visit GOV.UK to see the statutory guidance for schools and colleges on careers guidance.
Whether you're ready to get a full-time job or you want skills to help you progress, here are some options and support.
An apprenticeship is a paid job, where you earn and learn. You will spend about 4 days as an apprentice, and 1 day at a college, training centre or at work.
To be an apprentice, you need to be at least 16 years old. Most apprentices are between the ages of 16 to 24 years old, but you can be older.
Qualifications range from Level 2 to 7, and take at least 1 year to complete and are nationally recognised. This may take longer if you're doing a higher-level apprenticeship.
If you have an education, health and care (EHC) plan, your plan will not be stopped and will continue with your apprenticeship.
To complete your apprenticeship, you will pass a qualification or an assessment.
To find out more about apprenticeships:
Supported apprenticeships can help you to achieve an apprenticeship. You will only need to work towards the standard requirements of English and maths, if you are unable to achieve a Level 2 in these subjects.
You will be supported with:
- applications to become an apprenticeship
- interview skills
- support while in work if needed.
Your employer can also get help to make you feel comfortable and supported in the workplace.
For more information about supported apprenticeships visit Base UK's website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Depending on the type of job you apply for, the hours you will work will change. Usually jobs are either:
- full time (working 35 to 40 hours a week)
- part time (working less than 35 hours a week)
- flexible (working hours to suit you)
- casual work (you can pick and choose when you work).
To find jobs near you, visit:
- our jobs section
- Disability Confident Employers (gov.uk), a website showing all companies who employ disabled people
- Careers with disabilities
- Even Break
- Kent Jobs.
For help finding a job contact Kent Supported Employment.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) funds internships and supported internships. An internship or a supported internship is unpaid work experience that lasts up to 1 year. A traineeship lasts up to 6 months.
Once the 6 months or year have passed, you are ready to progress to an apprenticeship or employment.
You will learn skills for work with the aim of moving into long term paid employment at the end of the internship.
If you have an education, health and care (EHC) plan, your plan will not be stopped and will continue with your supported internship or traineeship.
For more information:
- find out more about supported internships
- visit the government website
- visit the Bemix website for advice and support for young people and for employers
- visit the East Kent College website who offer supported internship courses and support
- Visit the Kent training and apprenticeships website who offer supported internships
Maybe you'd like to start your own business. It could be something you're interested in, or something you've never seen before.
Being your own boss can be challenging, stressful, but rewarding. There are tons of organisations and free resources online that can help you.
For advice and guidance you can:
- contact your local Job Centre Plus office and speak with the Disability Employment Advisor (DEA)
- visit the Kent and Medway Business Hub
- use the Ask a Kent Librarian service to get start-up business information as well as mailing lists. The library has free business resources for members
- contact the Association for Disabled Professionals
- visit Scope's website for:
Supported employment gives you the opportunity to get support from a work coach. They work with you and your employer to get you an apprenticeship or internship. Or they may support you in finding work related learning.
Work experience is a temporary role often unpaid.
It's a great way to build your skills and try out a certain job or career that interests you.
Work related learning gives you the opportunity to start to work, and learn at the same time. You may get a qualification in customer service or as a gym instructor, for example.
You can give back to your community by volunteering. It's great for improving your skills, making new friends, and advancing your career. Volunteering isn't free, and you'll have to give your time.
Find volunteering opportunities near you.
Watch this video from National Careers Service to learn top tips for volunteering.
Apply for a job
When you find the job you want, you'll need to apply and hopefully get an interview.