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Employment and Training:

The aim of this section is to outline what is available to help you find work if you are unemployed, and also to help you to stay in work if you become disabled. It is also important for you to know what services are available for employers so that you can bring these to the attention of any prospective employer who might not know of their existence.

Careers Advice Nextstep Peterborough & Cambridgeshire offers free, confidential advice for adults in the region. They promote learning and work to all adults aged 20 and over. They can also help with getting back into work or changing career direction.

Nextstep is funded by the Learning and Skills Council and offer a free Helpline on 0845 068 1400 for Cambridgeshire & Peterborough. If they can’t help you over the phone, they can arrange for you to see someone in your local area.

Connexions Tel: 01733 703400 offers information, advice & guidance to young people aged 13-19 or up to 25 if they have special needs

Connexions, Young People’s Service, Peterborough Central Library,Broadway,PE1 1DE

Special Needs Choices

If you decide to stay on at school the conditions of your Special Education Needs Statement will remain the same. If you decide to go to college there will be a wider range of courses open to you.

If you are a disabled young person and decide to go on to further education, colleges must now provide details of what is available, and who you should contact for further information.

You may wish to attend a specialist college, which will already have a lot of experience in teaching students with a particular special need or disability.

Before you sign up for a further education college course they should draw up a ‘learning agreement’ setting out what they expect you to do and how they are going to help you on your course.

If you are thinking about going to college or sixth form ask your teacher to arrange a meeting with the disabled students tutor at the college and students who are already there. When you do visit don’t be embarrassed about asking staff and students as many questions as you can.

If you are applying to a further education college or university you should apply several months before you are going to leave school. Your teacher or Connexions Personal Adviser can help with filling in forms.

Write down how your disability affects you and what support you need, including things like note-taking, BSL signing or wheelchair access.

SKILL ( National Bureau for Students with Disabilities) Tel: 0800 328 5050 SKILL is a national charity promoting opportunities for young people and adults with any kind of impairment, learning difficulty or health condition in post-16 education, training and employment.

The SKILL Information Service runs a telephone helpline for students and their families. They can give you information and advice on:

  • Applying to further and higher education
  • Funding in further and higher education
  • Getting support for your learning
  • Disclosing your disability’ or, explaining your study-support needs
  • How studying can affect your benefits
  • Getting into work
  • How the disability discrimination act protects you in education and when you apply for jobs

Unemployment Jobcentre Plus Tel: 01733 297600 Peterborough Jobcentre Plus has details of vacancies – full time, part time, temporary or permanent. They can help people who:

  • Have a disability
  • Have a health condition
  • Have been seriously injured, or
  • Are caring for someone.

Personal advisers help people with disabilities or health conditions, and carers who are looking for work. The Job Centre Plus can provide details of suitable vacancies and explain more about the range of programmes available to help you.

They also have Disability Employment Advisors who can advise you on many issues relating to employment/unemployment matters. If you cannot work, they can tell you about the financial and practical support you may be able to get, and refer you to appropriate services offered by other organisations.

Job Centre Plus Services: New Deal for disabled people

New Deal for disabled people gives you the help and support you need to get back to work. To take part in New Deal for disabled people you must be getting a benefit to do with your health and you must want to find a job.

Job Introduction Scheme (JIS) helps disabled people by offering a financial incentive to employers. It could help pay your wages or other employment costs for a certain period-usually the first 6 weeks of your new job. To qualify for the Job Introduction Scheme the job must last for at least 26 weeks (including the JIS period), although it can be full or part time, and you must apply for JIS before you start the job. Tel 01733 297600

Leadership Recruitment Graduate Scheme provides graduate opportunities for disabled people. It is a partnership between Scope and national employers providing work placements and facilitating access to graduate schemes and jobs Tel: 02076197277

Work Preparation is tailored to suit your needs, but it usually involves doing short unpaid work experience with a local employer. Work Preparation can help you get ready for work. The Job Centre Plus will work out what you need from the programme, and they can offer you a range of support to help you find and stay in work.

Depending on your needs, support can last from a few hours to a number of weeks. On average, most people who take part in Work Preparation are involved for between 6 and 13 weeks.

You may be able to take part in Work Preparation if you have a disability or health condition, and you are in touch with a personal adviser.

You can be in work, out of work and claiming benefit or not claiming benefit Tel: 01733 297600

Access to Work can help you if your health or disability affects the way you do your job. It gives you and the person you work for advice and support with extra costs which may arise because of your needs.

Access to Work might pay towards the equipment you need at work, adapting premises to meet your needs, or a support worker. It can also pay towards the cost of getting to work if you can’t use trains or buses, and for a communicator at job interviews, if you need one.

You may be able to get Access to Work if you are:

  • Unemployed and about to start a job
  • In a paid job
  • Self-employed
  • And your disability or health condition stops you from being able to do parts of your job.

Your disability or health condition may not have a big effect on what you do each day, but may have a long-term effect on how well you can do your job. If you think that this applies to you, you should talk to an adviser.

Contacting your local Disability Employment advisor

If you feel that the type of work you do is affected by a disability or health condition that is likely to last for 12 months or more, ask the Disability Employment Adviser (DEA) at Peterborough Jobcentre Plus office about Access to Work, or contact Access to Work Business Center on Tel: 01206 288077

Getting help – the process

An Access to Work adviser will usually speak to you and your employer to reach a decision about the most effective support for you. In most cases, this can be done over the telephone, but a visit can be arranged if necessary. Sometimes specialist advice may be needed, which the Access to Work adviser will help to arrange. For example, your adviser may arrange for a specialist organisation, such as the Royal National Institute of the Blind, to complete an assessment and recommend appropriate support. In such cases, a confidential written report will be sent to the Access to Work adviser, who will use this information to help them decide on the right level of support.

Your Employers responsibilities:

Once your adviser has decided on the package of support they feel is appropriate, they will seek formal approval of their recommendations from Jobcentre Plus. You and your employer will then receive a letter informing you of the approved level of support and the grant available.

It’s usually your employer (or you if you are self-employed) who is responsible for arranging the agreed support and purchasing the necessary equipment. Your employer can then claim back a grant towards these approved costs from Access to Work.

Your Access to Work Grant:

The amount of help which you may receive from Access to Work will vary depending on how long you have been employed, what support you need and whether you are self-employed.

Access to Work can pay up to 100 per cent of the approved costs if you are:

  • Unemployed and starting a new job
  • Self-employed
  • Working for an employer and have been in the job for less than six weeks

Whatever your employment status, Access to Work will also pay up to 100 per cent of the approved costs of help with:

  • Support workers
  • Fares to work
  • Communicator support at interview

The level of support costs available (as of 2008)

Access to Work pays a proportion of the costs of support if:

  • You’re working for an employer and
  • You’ve been in the job for six weeks or more and
  • You need special equipment or adaptations to premises.

In these circumstances, your employer would be expected to pay the first £300 of the costs of support, plus a further minimum 20 per cent of the costs up to a ceiling of £10,000. Jobcentre Plus would pay the remaining amount up to a maximum of 80 per cent and up to 100 per cent of agreed costs over £10,000.

The precise level of cost sharing is agreed between your employer and the Access to Work adviser.

All help provided is for a maximum period of three years, after which the Access to Work Business Centre will review your circumstances and the support you’re receiving. Tel: 01206 288077

Peterborough College of Adult Education welcomes everyone to come and participate in our learning opportunities. They say that “We particularly welcome learners with disabilities to take part in a variety of appropriate learning opportunities in and around the Peterborough City centre.” They aim to offerappropriate support so that disabled people can take a full part in learning.
Many of the centres in Peterborough have facilities available to assist you in getting to the classroom and help once in the classroom. These facilities include, lifts and guide rails to assist you gaining access. All centres have toilet facilities that are accessible to everyone. Arrangements can be made for audio and visual aid equipment in the classroom. The Centre you attend should seek to re-locate classes if access becomes a difficulty. A reduced cost on some of the courses is available for people with a disability. Tel: 01733 761361

Richmond Fellowship runs a range of services providing employment advice, support into work, training, work experience and rehabilitation. Its service users are people with mental health needs who have been or are at risk of being excluded from the labour market as a result of poor mental health. They include:

  • Employment advice to support individuals into paid work
  • In-house work placements that develop work skills and self-confidence
  • In-house training programmes, helping service users to further develop their skills and confidence
  • Retain, a new service available in a limited number of areas at present, is focused on supporting people with mental health needs who are still employed but at risk of losing their job. They are hoping to expand this service in the future.

Tel: 020 76973300

RNIB Blind and partially sighted people succeed in a wide variety of jobs and in almost all employment sectors. RNIB’s employment services ensure adults with sight problems get the best employment opportunities to enable them achieve their full potential.
Tel: 020 7391 2097

SHAW Trust is a national charity that provides training and work opportunities for people who are disadvantaged in the labour market due to disability, ill health or other social circumstances. They are the largest voluntary sectorprovider of employment services for disabled people in the UK Tel: 0800 085 1001

Westcombe Employment Service offer advice and support and guidance to help disabled people back into work. They also offer long term support for disabled people once they start work. It is a free and impartial service for disabled people in Peterborough. They have employment advisors available Tel: 01733 746300