Careers Guidance For You

Careers Guidance For You


Welcome to Adviza's Careers Portal:

The Gateway to Planning Your Career


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Thank you! The Careers Guidance For You team

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You'll find lots of useful information to help you make the right decisions when it comes to choosing options and career routes. 

Go to Students


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You'll find the information and tools you need to support your child at key times when decisions need to be made.

    Go to Parents


    Careers adviser and students looking at computers



    You'll find key information, resources and dates of events to support your students through key transition points.

    Go to Teachers

    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.

    In the UK, there are various pathways for students with special educational needs (SEN) to enter paid employment. The specific approach may vary based on the individual's abilities, preferences, and the nature of their SEN. Below we cover the post-16 pathways and initiatives that aim to support SEN students in transitioning to paid employment:

    Work Experience and Internships:

    Many schools and colleges offer work experience programs that allow SEN students aged 14 -16 to gain exposure to various job environments. This can help them develop skills, identify strengths, and build confidence. Enquire via your SENCO and Careers Lead what work experience opportunities they are able to support you with. If you don’t have an idea of what organisation you would like, it would be really helpful to do some career exploration first using Which Career? on this portal.

    You can also approach employers independently or with the support of your family or carers. Take a look at our Work Experience section for a comprehensive guide on how to do this.

    Supported Internships:

    Supported internships are structured programs designed to help young people with a Statement of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), a Learning Difficulty Assessment, or an Education Health and Care Plan make a successful transition from education to employment. These programs will typically involve collaboration between your sixth form, college, or specialist provider and employers, with job coaches provided by your local council. Internships are unpaid and last for at least six months — they're all about working to enable you to move into a paid job at the end of the programme.

    A study programme will be created to give each student exactly the training, support and work skills they need to help them get a job. Most of the learning is done in the workplace. Your employer gives you work experience, trains you to do a job role and learn the skills needed for work.
    You also have the chance to study for qualifications and other training or learning as part of a personalised study programme that helps you to be ready to take up a job.
    Internships are unpaid and last for at least six months; they're all about working towards getting a paid job, and wherever possible doing a supported internship will enable you to move into a paid job at the end of the programme.

    Identification and Assessment:

    Students with EHCPs are candidates for supported internships and are identified by their sixth form or college often with the support of SENCOs, teachers, or careers advisers. The student's abilities, interests, and aspirations are assessed to determine the most suitable internship opportunities.

    Collaboration Between Education and Employers:

    Sixth forms or colleges collaborate with local employers to create internship opportunities. This collaboration involves discussions about the skills and support required for the interns to be successful in the workplace. 

    Tailored Placements:

    Internships are designed to match the individual needs, skills, and interests of the SEN students. Employers may create specific roles or modify existing ones to accommodate the interns' abilities and learning styles.

    Job Coaches and Support:

    Supported internships often involve the presence of job coaches or support workers who help the interns learn and carry out their tasks. Job coaches usually work for the local council and provide assistance with communication, organisation, and specific job-related skills. They work closely with both the intern and the employer. 

    On-the-Job Training:

    The majority of learning in a supported internship occurs on the job. You will gain practical work experience, develop employability skills, and learn about workplace expectations. Training may include tasks directly related to the job as well as broader skills such as communication, time management, and teamwork.

    Regular Review and Feedback:

    The progress of the intern is regularly reviewed, with feedback provided by both the employer and the education provider. This ongoing assessment helps identify areas for improvement and ensures that the intern is meeting the expectations of the workplace.

    Gradual Increase in Independence:

    As the internship progresses, the goal is to increase your level of independence. This may involve reducing the level of support provided by job coaches as you become more familiar with their role and gain confidence.

    Employer Engagement:

    Employers play a crucial role in the success of supported internships. They contribute by providing a supportive work environment, offering guidance to interns, and often gaining a more inclusive and diverse workforce.

    Transition Planning:

    Towards the end of the supported internship, there is a focus on transition planning. This involves discussions about the next steps for the intern, whether it be securing a job within the same organization or exploring other employment opportunities.


    Apprenticeships are available from age 16 and offer a combination of on-the-job training and classroom learning. Some apprenticeship programs are specifically designed to accommodate individuals with SEN. Employers, in collaboration with training providers, can tailor the apprenticeship to meet the unique needs of the apprentice. For more information on apprenticeship and how to find them see our portal section here.

    Vocational Training and College Courses:

    SEN students can pursue vocational training or college courses that align with their interests and abilities. These programs often focus on practical skills that enhance employability in specific industries. Depending on qualifications, students can access various levels of courses: 

    Foundation Courses

    Your local college may call these courses Entry Level, Pathways or Foundation learning. They are designed to support students into Level 1 courses, or adult independence. You do not need any formal qualifications to access them. Each college creates their own programmes so check their websites for more information.

    BTEC Level 1
    These courses last one year an require 4 GCSEs at grades 1 or 2.

    BTEC Level 2
    These courses last for one year and require 4 GCSEs at grades 3.

    BTEC Level 3 
    These courses last two years and require 4 GCSEs at grades 4 – 9.

    Students will be supported to take Maths & English GCSEs to achieve a grade 4 if not already achieved.

    T Levels. 

    These courses last two years and require 4 GCSEs at grades 4 – 9.

    For more information on further education see here [link]

    Higher Education

    In the UK, universities provide a wide range of support for students with SEND to ensure that they have equal access to education and a positive university experience. The specifics can vary between institutions, but here are some common support services offered by UK universities for students with SEND:

    Disability Support Services: Most universities have dedicated disability support services that work with students to assess their needs and implement appropriate accommodations. This may include assistance with academic adjustments, accessible learning materials, and exam accommodations.
    Study Support: Universities often offer study support services, which may include study skills workshops, one-on-one tutoring, and academic mentoring. These services can be tailored to meet the specific needs of students with SEND.

    Accessible Accommodations: Universities strive to provide accessible facilities and accommodations for students with physical disabilities. This may include wheelchair-accessible buildings, ramps, elevators, and accessible restrooms.

    Assistive Technology: Many universities invest in assistive technology to support students with disabilities. This can include screen readers, speech-to-text software, magnification tools, and other assistive devices to enhance the learning experience.

    Counselling and Mental Health Services: Some students with SEND may also require additional support for mental health and well-being. Universities often have counselling services that can provide assistance and counselling tailored to individual needs.

    Dedicated Disability Advisors: Universities typically have disability advisors who work closely with students to identify and address their specific needs. These advisors can help coordinate accommodations, liaise with academic departments, and provide ongoing support.

    Accessible Learning Resources: Universities may ensure that learning resources, such as textbooks and online materials, are available in accessible formats, such as large print, electronic formats, or audio versions.

    Communication Support: For students with communication difficulties, universities may provide communication support workers or sign language interpreters during lectures and other academic activities.

    Transition Support: Universities often offer transition programs or orientation sessions specifically designed for students with SEND to help them adjust to university life and academic expectations.
    Flexible Attendance Policies: Some universities have flexible attendance policies to accommodate students with health-related or disability-related challenges that may affect their ability to attend classes regularly.

    Studying abroad: Click here for advice from Omio.

    See below for advice on how to research universities to access the best support.

    Government Initiatives and Support:

    Government schemes and initiatives, such as Access to Work, may provide financial support for accommodations and adaptations in the workplace. Employers can access resources and guidance on creating inclusive work environments.

    Employment Support Services:

    Organisations and agencies that specialise in employment support for individuals with disabilities can offer guidance, job matching services, and ongoing assistance in maintaining employment. Charities involved in this are:

    Ambitious about Autism

    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. 

    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.

    Amazing Apprenticeships have produced this guide to finding an inclusive employer. Click to read. 

    "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."