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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.

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 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)  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.

Skill: National Bureau for Students with Disabilities

Head Office:
Chapter House
18-20 Crucifix Lane
London SE1 3JW

Telephone/ Minicom: 020 7450 0620
Fax: 020 7450 0650 Email: skill@skill.org.uk
Information Service Tel: 0800 328 5050 
Minicom: 0800 068 2422 Email:

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.

Tel.  0800 169 0190


Job Centre Plus Services:

Disabled people can get help and support  to get back to work. The disabled person  must be getting a benefit to do with  health medical condition and  must want to find a job.

Careers and work for disabled people

The Equality Act 2010 means that employers have to remove barriers in the workplace for disabled people and financial support is available to help them do this. Always start exploring your options based on what you want to do. Then you can think about any advice and support you might need

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 advise.r

Work Preparation is a Jobcentre Plus initiative in the UK that enables unemployed people with a disability and/or long-term health problem to explore employment opportunities through a timed programme of external work placement and corresponding support. The aim of the initiative is to provide a ‘no risks’ programme of support that will allow disabled people to try out different work opportunities over a trial period of six to 18 weeks without loss of unemployment and/or disability benefits. Overall, the programme aims to enable disabled people to then progress into real employment situations.

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.

0800 121 7479

Contacting your local Disability Employment Advisor

 0800 055 6688

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.

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.

Your employer may also be responsible for some of the costs of your claim. Access to Work can also give practical advice and guidance to employers, to help them understand physical and mental ill health and how they can support employees.

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

0800 121 7479

Your Access to Work :

Access to Work is a publicly funded employment support programme that aims to help more disabled people start or stay in work. It can provide practical and financial support if you have a disability or long term physical or mental health condition.

An Access to Work grant can pay for practical support to help you:

  • start working
  • stay in work
  • move into self-employment or start a business

The grant is not for business start-up costs.

How much you get depends on your circumstances. The money does not have to be paid back and will not affect your other benefits.

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 Job centre 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.


The Centre for Health and Disability Assessments (CHDA) is a subsidiary of MAXIMUS, a leading global provider of government health programmes. In the UK, we carry out Work Capability Assessments for the Health Assessment Advisory Service. We do this on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).


City College Peterborough 

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 offer appropriate 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

Discover a college in Peterborough dedicated to providing learning & educational opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicity and abilities.

Data Protection Refund Policy. City College Peterborough, Brook Street, Peterborough, PE1 1TU, 01733 761361. admin@citycollegepeterborough.ac.uk.

Richmond Fellowship support people recovering from mental health problems to find paid employment, voluntary work, education and training or to retain their current employment.

42 Park Road
PE12TG  01733 897111


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.
AddressMidgate House, Peterborough PE1 1TN
Phone: 01733 375000

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 sector provider of employment services for disabled people in the UK


Tel 0300 30 33 111

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 advisers available

AddressUnits 3-10 Westcombe Square, Royce Road, Peterborough PE1 5YB