Support for learners with SEND

Resources to support learners with SEND to find and sustain work

Support for transition

Transition to employment

Ambitious about Autism have created a new employment toolkit to support autistic young people into the job market. The toolkit has been developed to tackle the low autism employment rate, which is currently at 22% and the lowest of all disabled groups. It aims to prevent autistic young people from falling out of education, employment or training when they leave school. The toolkit has sections for autistic young people, careers professionals and employers. It can be downloaded as a whole or as individual sections, and includes lots of editable forms and templates. The Transition to employment toolkit is free to download from their website. 

Transition from college to the workplace Entry Level 3 and Transition from college to the workplace Level 1 (and above) are two guidance documents created by City College Norwich to support learners with the transition from college to the workplace.

cover image of Transition from college to workplace Entry level
Transition from college to the workplace Entry Level 3

Supporting learners transitioning to employment

The Careers & Enterprise Company’s paper, Transition programmes for young adults with SEND. What works? outlines five key areas which can help to make a transition programme successful including providing encounters with employers, working people and workplaces.

Career preparation

Making careers provision effective

Schools and colleges should seek to help young people with SEND to aspire to a wide range of destinations and to realise these aspirations. Providing students with taster opportunities, work experience, mentoring, enterprise education, access to role models and inspiring speakers can all help to achieve this.
The SEND Gatsby Benchmark Toolkit, 2018

Finding employment can be difficult for young people with SEND. They can face their own unique challenges in transitioning from school to further learning and the workplace. The SEND Gatsby Toolkit provides guidance to providers on what good careers provision looks like. It details eight benchmarks, explaining what each is and what it looks like in practice. 

The Gatsby Foundation has published a new resource using the Gatsby Benchmarks with students with SEND. The resource, Good Career Guidance: Perspectives from the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities sector, can be downloaded from their website.

Video CVs – an innovative approach to recruitment

Oldham College, SEND Employer Spoke, share how they use video CVs to support learners with SEND into employment.

The Video CVs – an innovative approach to recruitment webinar outlines their approach and includes case studies from learners and employers.


Self employment

Leading disability charity National Star, an ETF Centre for Excellence in SEND Employer Spoke, held a webinar, Self-employment for learners with SEND.

The session includes an inspiring story from Katy Etherington, a previous National Star learner who runs her successful graphic design business, sharing her experiences of education, employment, and self-employment.

Keith Bates from Mutually Inclusive explores the relationship between support and the entrepreneur.

Work experience for young people with SEN

The Department for Education published a Work experience and vocational/technical provision for young people on SEN support: A rapid evidence assessment report in 2018. The aim of the rapid evidence assessment was to identify evidence on the benefits (or otherwise) of work experience for these young people as they prepare to enter paid employment. The report highlights a number of principles of good practice for post-16 providers in finding work experience/placements for young people with less complex special educational needs.