Work experience is an essential part of getting into any career or job. It helps you figure out whether it’s the right path for you and if it’s not, work experience can help you start your career journey in another industry.
According to UCAS, a recent survey showed two thirds of employers look for graduates with relevant work experience because it helps them prepare for work. Importantly, one third of employers felt that applicants did not have a satisfactory level of knowledge about their chosen career or job. Increasingly, we’re seeing employers provide more support for those with additional needs, but whether you choose to go ahead with university, or want to get straight into a job, work experience can provide that necessary competitive edge. Keep reading as we discuss how.
Supported internships are specifically designed for young people with learning difficulties or disabilities. The employer hosting the internship will provide the training you need to carry out your role as well helping to develop other important work skills. There will also be an opportunity for you to complete any necessary qualifications or learning, so you are ready for the world of work. Internships can vary in duration, but last at least six months. They provide a fantastic snapshot into the role you might be interested in.
A traineeship combines both education and training through work experience, which is based on the skills the employer may require. They are excellent at preparing you for the world of work, particularly if you have complex needs. The programme can be tailored based on the needs of both the young person and the employer, which could include English and Maths support and other skills that might need developing.
Supported apprenticeships provide another step forward for those with a recognised learning difficulty or disability. However, in order to progress with a supported apprenticeship, you will be expected to achieve an entry level 3, up to level 2 functional skills in Maths and English at the end of the apprenticeship, unless the role requirements state otherwise.
Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for you to earn a wage whilst learning a trade you might wish to take up as a career in the future. Your salary will vary depending on your employer, but as an apprentice, you are entitled to a National Minimum Wage of £4.15 per hour.
Placements and shadowing
Many employers might consider allowing you to take part in a short work placement where you’ll have the opportunity to shadow someone in the role you’re looking to do. This will be unpaid and likely involve lots of note taking and observing. However, if it’s particularly busy, you might be asked to help with smaller tasks, such as photocopying or assisting another worker.
There are lots of opportunities for you to get involved in the world of work, regardless of your learning difficulty or disability. At Walsall College, we provide our students with a tailored learning programme designed for their individual needs.