Bucks Employment Support

Bucks Employment Support

Supporting the Bucks community reach employment and learning goals

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Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) students have equal access to education and employment, but there are still potential issues to navigate to ensure that your unique needs will be catered for.

SEND students may require additional support such as accessible environments, assistive technology or specialized teaching methods in order to access education or employment opportunities.

We have talked to past SEND students and put together a guide to help you to make the best decisions for your future, to ensure all opportunities can be realised as smoothly as possible.

SEND Students Applying to College

Start early: Give yourself plenty of time to research and choose the right college. Consider your needs, interests, and strengths and look for a college that can support those.

Identify your support needs: Contact the college's disability support team as soon as possible and let them know about your needs. This might include assistive technology, additional time on exams, or accommodations in the classroom.

Disclose your SEND status: Be sure to disclose your SEND status on your application. This will allow the college to provide you with the necessary support and accommodations.

Be honest: Don't be afraid to disclose any challenges you've faced in the past. It's important for the college to understand your strengths and weaknesses so that they can support you in the best way possible.

Research funding and scholarships: Some colleges and organisations offer scholarships and funding specifically for SEND students. Be sure to research these opportunities and apply for any that you're eligible for.

Take advantage of resources: Once you're accepted, take advantage of any resources that are available to you. This might include tutoring, counselling, or access to assistive technology.

Communicate with tutors: Keep them informed of your needs and challenges throughout the semester. This will help them to better support you and ensure that you have the resources you need to succeed.

Remember, college can be a challenging but rewarding experience for SEND students. With the right preparation and support, you can achieve your goals and succeed in your academic pursuits.

"Believe in yourself and never give up on your dreams."

SEND Students Applying to Higher Education

Research universities and courses carefully: Identify which learning providers have a good reputation for supporting SEND students. Consider factors such as accessibility, accommodations, academic support services, and student organisations for students with disabilities.

Consider your strengths and weaknesses: It's important to be honest with yourself about your abilities and limitations. Think about what you're good at and what you might need extra help with. This can help you choose a course that's a good fit for you.

Talk to admissions officers: Reach out to the university's admissions office and ask questions about their support for SEND students. This can help you get a better idea of what to expect and whether the university is a good fit for you.

Seek out resources: There are many resources available to SEND students, both at universities and in the community. Look for organisations, support groups, and advocacy groups that can provide guidance and assistance – see our list below.

Be proactive: Once you've chosen a university and course, be proactive about getting the support you need. Talk to your tutors, disability services office, and other resources on campus. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

Take care of yourself: University can be stressful, especially for SEND students. Make sure to take care of yourself by getting enough rest, eating well, and taking breaks when you need them. Seek out support from friends, family, and mental health professionals if you're struggling.

Remember, every student has unique needs and challenges, and there's no one-size-fits-all approach to navigating university as a SEND student. It's important to be patient, flexible, and willing to ask for help when you need it.

"Don't let anyone tell you what you can or can't achieve."

SEND Students Looking for Entry Level Jobs or Apprenticeships

Research and explore different apprenticeships: There are many different types of apprenticeships available, so make sure you research and explore your options to find the ones that best match your interests and abilities. https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship

Understand your strengths and limitations: Knowing your strengths and limitations can help you find apprenticeships that are a good fit for you. Be honest with yourself about what you can and cannot do.

Highlight your skills and achievements: When applying for apprenticeships, make sure you highlight your skills and achievements, including any relevant work experience or qualifications.

Be prepared for the application process: The application process for apprenticeships can be competitive, so make sure you prepare thoroughly. This may include practicing your interview skills and preparing for any tests or assessments.

Communicate your needs: If you have any specific needs or requirements, such as extra support or accommodations, make sure you communicate these to the apprenticeship provider. They may be able to provide additional support to help you succeed.

Seek advice and support: Don't be afraid to seek advice and support from teachers, career advisors, or other professionals who can provide guidance and support throughout the application process.

Remember, applying for apprenticeships can be challenging, but with the right approach and support, you can achieve your goals and succeed in your chosen career path.

"Develop the courage to advocate for yourself and your needs"

General Advice for Job Interviews

Research the company: Learn as much as you can about the company you are interviewing with. This can help you feel more comfortable and confident during the interview.

Practice answering common interview questions: Prepare yourself by reviewing and practicing how you would answer some of the most commonly asked interview questions. Try to anticipate what the interviewer might ask you and prepare your answers accordingly. See our section here on job hunting.

Consider accommodations: Think about the accommodations you might need during the interview, such as extra time, a quiet space, or a sign language interpreter. Let the interviewer know in advance what accommodations you need.

Focus on your strengths: Emphasise your strengths during the interview. Talk about your skills and abilities that are relevant to the job you are applying for.

Bring a support person: If it helps, you may bring a support person with you to the interview. This could be a family member, friend, or support worker who can help you feel more comfortable and provide assistance if needed.

Be honest: Be honest about your strengths and limitations. This will help the employer understand what you can bring to the job and what accommodations you may need.

Ask questions: Ask questions about the job and the company during the interview. This shows that you are interested in the position and helps you get a better understanding of what the job entails and how you could manage it.

Remember that the employer is interviewing you because they believe you are a good fit for the job. By preparing well, emphasizing your strengths, and being honest, you can increase your chances of success in the job interview.

"Don't be afraid to ask for help or accommodations if you need them."

Careers Resources

Careers research for SEND students can be frustrating process. We have gathered links to all the resources here in one place, so you can easily gather information relevant to you or the student you are supporting:

National Careers Service: The National Careers Service provides information, advice and guidance to help students make decisions on learning, training and work opportunities. They have a section [link] on their website specifically for SEND students, which provides information on careers advice, job profiles, and apprenticeships. They have a dedicated helpline for people with disabilities: 0800 100 900.

Disability Rights UK: Provides information and advice to disabled people including those with SEND, on a range of issues including education, training, and employment. They have a section on their website specifically for young disabled people, which includes information on career planning and job seeking.

The Careers and Enterprise Company: Works with schools and colleges to help young people prepare for the world of work. They have a range of resources available on their website, including a section [link] on careers advice for SEND students.

The Princes Trust: Provides support to young people aged 11-30 who are unemployed or struggling at school. They have a range of programmes available to help young people develop their skills, gain work experience and find employment.

Prospects: A careers advice service that provides information and advice to students and graduates. They have a section [link] on their website specifically for students with disabilities, which includes information on careers advice, work experience, and job opportunities.

My Plus Students Club: A careers advice service for higher education students with disabilities. They provide information and advice on a range of issues, including job hunting, applications and interviews, and disability disclosure.

Mencap: a charity that supports people with learning disabilities, they have a dedicated employment service called "Employ Me" which offers support and advice on finding and keeping a job.

The Department For Work and Pensions: provides a range of information and advice for individuals with disabilities or health conditions who are looking for work, including the Access to Work scheme.

The Shaw Trust: a charity that supports people with disabilities and health conditions to find and sustain employment, offering services such as job coaching and skills training.

AGCAS: provides advice and support for university students with disabilities, including information on career planning and job search strategies.

EmployAbility: a not-for-profit organization that works with disabled students and graduates, offering support with career planning, job applications, and interviews.

"Remember that your disability doesn't define you - you are so much more than that."