Accessing support for employment

My 21 year old son has been in and out of employment since finishing college 3 years ago. He completed an NVQ level 2 in sports coaching but has never managed to secure a job in this field. He has had a range of jobs some of which haven’t worked out because they required him to carry out tasks that he struggled with because of his dispraxia. A job in a warehouse was more suited to his skill set but he  lost this job due to his immature behaviour (trying to make his colleagues laugh!). I really feel he would benefit from having a ‘mentor’ who could accompany him to work until such times as he has learned the role and understands what’s required in terms of workplace behaviour. Has anyone managed to obtain this type of support and if so how did they go about it? Grateful for any advice or suggestions. 

  • Hi there,

    I'm not sure about that kind of thing, but I found The Shaw Trust to be very helpful after my breakdown and when I was back in to looking for a job.  My local branch had a 'Job Club' one morning a week, where I could go and do job searches and get help from my Key Worker there.  She also came with me to interviews.  They did training sessions there, too, for people looking for work: stuff like confidence-building, skills training, etc.  Their focus is mental health, but it's the same sort of area.

    The Shaw Trust

    I'd say that anyone who tries to make their colleagues laugh would be a definite asset in many workplaces!  I was immature at his age, too.  I still am at 58.

  • If your son is about to get a job (he has an offer of employment) or he is in a job, it is very likely he will get assistance from Access to Work.

    Access to Work can suggest adjustments needed at work, and provide funding for a multitude of things, including transport to work if this is difficult, training for staff, and support for a few hours a month.

    I receive this help.  I get a support worker for two sessions a month, who among other things I can contact when I am having difficulty and can explain this to my managers.  There can be, unfortunately, many misunderstandings from managers.  This help is for me to help me overcome difficulties I have, but it also can help explain why difficulties occur to the managers.

    Details can be found on the Access to Work website:

  • I found The Shaw Trust to be very helpful

    My experience of the Shaw Trust was the opposite. Despite knowing I have Asperger's, I was treated as though I had learning disabilities and they kept changing agreements (including the reasonable adjustments my occupational therapist had agreed on my behalf), meeting times, etc. When I visited their offices, I was even asked if I wanted to go to the toilet.

    Shaw Trust was meant to help me obtain work trials rather than interviews but did not manage to arrange a single trial. All they did was get me to fill in forms to show  what I was doing to get a job. It got so bad that my disability employment advisor at JobCentrePlus intervened on my behalf.

  • Thanks for this.   He has had some assistance with applying for jobs, sounds similar to the services offered by The Shaw Trust, but so far hasn't had any workplace support.  As far as I know he hasn't had any contact with Access to Work and this is something I will look into - so thank you for the information.  One of the barriers to accessing support has been that my son prefers not to disclose his diagnoses (of autism, dyspraxia and mild learning disabilities). Although we have talked many times about what autism and dyspraxia mean, he has little (no) insight into how he personally is impacted by these conditions. For example, he has just applied for and been successful in getting a job in a local pub as a dish washer (he starts tomorrow) but I fear yet again it will not work out for him because, with this particular job his sensitivities to do with touching certain things and tendency to drop things will be problematic. The idea of a "mentor" appeals because I think, with the right person, my son would accept advice and support in a way that he won't from me or his mother Although the pressing issue is support with employment, I think he could also benefit from having a mentor to help him with other aspects of life where he experiences difficulties, for example, maintaining relationships and developing independence.  Is this a role that anyone has had any experience of and if so how was this support funded?