Resources to engage with employers of SEND learners

BBC’s Call the Midwife leads by example

Unlocking the value of being a SEND employer Young actor Daniel Laurie, famous for his role as Reggie in BBC’s Call the Midwife, has called on businesses to recognise the many benefits of employing young people with learning disabilities. Daniel, who has Down’s Syndrome, gives the keynote talk during this webinar led by London South East Colleges. The session gives practical advice to employers about the recruitment of SEND learners and the many benefits of having a fully inclusive workforce.

Inclusive employer induction toolkit

The Inclusive employer induction toolkit shares the current practices at City College Norwich in delivering induction activities to employers for our learners with SEND on placements and apprenticeships.

The tools and techniques within the toolkit have been tried and tested extensively with employers.

The tools can be adapted for use within your organisation.

cover image of Inclusive employer induction toolkit

Inclusive employer toolkit

This Inclusive employer toolkit (document) and Inclusive employer toolkit (presentation) has been created by City College Norwich, Centre for Excellence in SEND (community), to inform and support all employers in their work with apprentices who have a learning difficulty, difference and/or disability. This guide will give an overview of a number of different difficulties and disabilities, and strategies to support those apprentices in their work activities and around the work environment. A digital version of the Inclusive employer toolkit (online) is available on City College Norwich website.

Why diversifying your workforce is good for business

Hear directly from a range of employers on how employing young people with special educational needs and disabilities has improved their businesses.

The young people benefit but so do the whole workforce and their customers, and of course, it’s the right thing to do!

cover image of Why diversifying your workforce is good for business

How to recruit and retain a diverse workforce

The How to recruit and retain a diverse workforce in construction toolkit has been created by Hampshire County Council, an ETF Employer Spoke. It aims to provide support to construction employers to enable you to recruit and retain disabled people who frequently get overlooked as a source of knowledge and skills.

For screen reader users, you will have the best experience by using the inbuilt tool within Adobe or using Jaws.  You may experience problems using other tools.  If so, please contact and we will do our best to help.

Front cover of How to recruit and retrain a diverse workforce in construction.

With skills gaps in Hospitality and Catering in the South, Hampshire County Council, an ETF Employer Spoke, share how they work with employers in meeting these skills gaps. The webinar shows how they bring the new talent and skills of young people with SEND, and provide opportunities for employers to engage with an important demographic in their communities. You will hear from the Hospitality and Catering sector and education providers about the great joint working that has supported young people and employers to develop skills needed for the future.

Understanding what employers need

Understanding what employers want need to employ learners with SEND webinar explores the benefits for employers to engage with learners with SEND and understand what employers really want. City College Norwich share their experiences of engaging and securing employment for learners with SEND. The webinar and associated Understanding what employers need to employer learners with SEND presentation are to support providers to have the tools and knowledge to understand what employers really want and how to engage them effectively. 


London South East Colleges, an ETF SEND Employer Spoke work with Charlton Athletic Football Club to offer learners with SEND routes to employment and opportunities to play the game in their UpBeats programme.

Inclusivity and intersectionality

The Women and Work All Party Parlimentary Group (APPG) published a report, Inclusivity and Intersectionality. The APPG recognised and highlighted the fact that women are not a homogenous group, and that a focus on gender alone can sometimes be misleading. They heard evidence from witnesses as to how different aspects of identity such as age, race, disability or income can affect an individual’s experience of recruitment and employment. 

Out of this work, they produced a toolkit of practical suggestions and strategies for employers to support an inclusive workplace and to put intersectionality into practice. This report aims to equip employers with the tools to create more inclusive workplaces which benefit employees at all levels.

Making workplaces work

Hampshire County Council, an ETF SEND Employer Spoke, together with Eastleigh Borough Council and Eastleigh College explore how to make work placements work for learners and employers. They discuss a tool to best support effective communication.

Diversifying your workforce

Oldham College, an ETF SEND Employer Spoke delivered a webinar, The benefits to your business of diversifying your workforce, to help raise employers’ awareness of the positive impact of having a diverse workforce.

Supported employment

Supported employment, an employer’s view, hear from an employer who is passionate about supported placements and employment. Share this video with your employers so Brad’s approach can inspire them. 

The social value act in procurement

The social value act in procurement, Hampshire County Council, an ETF SEND Employer Spoke delivered an event in which Milestone Infrastructure and Hampshire Futures share learning about the implementation of the Social Value Act in procurement, and what this can mean for young people being supported in the workplace.

Employer Academies

At Derby College, Centre for Excellence in SEND (curriculum) they have established Employer Academies.

In this video David Torrington, Managing Director of Sky Recruitment Solutions talks about how they support learners with SEND into the Employer Academy they’ve set up with Derby College.

Supported Internships and Apprenticeships

Recruitment solutions utilising Supported Internships and Apprenticeships, Hampshire County Council, an ETF SEND Employer Spoke invited Hampshire Achieved and The Apprenticeship Hub to discuss the Supported Internship and Apprenticeship programmes and how these programmes can support businesses on their recruitment journey’s.

Work experience that works

Work experience that works is a short guide to support employers and providers produced by the Preparing for Adulthood programme. It provides advice on how effective partnership working can break down barriers for learners with SEND gaining work experience opportunities.

Holding a business challenge day

The Develop Cluster Group worked with the Mitie Foundation who co-produced a Business Challenge Day for their high needs learners. This enterprise day was to inspire and showcase our learners’ capability to prospective employers who could potentially offer work experience or paid work in the future.  Read the Business Challenge Day case study and see the supporting resources. This zipped file includes the SEND Workforce Development Study Programme project’s case study, dissemination presentation and employer leaflet.