Supported employment

Supported Employment is a well-established model used by the council’s Specialist Employment Team to support people with disabilities and health conditions to find and sustain paid employment.

If you are interested in receiving support from a specialist employment adviser to find a job or apprenticeship please complete our enquiry formsend us an email or call 0121 569 5981

Your journey with us

Initial meeting

On receipt of your enquiry form a specialist employment adviser will contact you to arrange your initial meeting.  At this meeting, your adviser will tell you about the service, the support available and answer any questions.

Initial assessment

If you decide you would like to take up the service your adviser will complete your assessment.  The assessment can take place over one or two meetings and includes:

  • Vocational Profile – this is a “getting to know you” process where we identify your aspirations, learning needs, individual skills, previous experiences and job preferences.  We encourage parents, carers and support workers to be involved in this process so we get a complete picture.  The vocational profile helps us to job search for you and improves the chances of us finding a high-quality job match.
  • Literacy and Numeracy assessment – we assess your English and Maths levels so we can understand what workplace adjustments may be required when you start work, and whether you will be able to complete an apprenticeship. 
  • Benefit Calculations – we complete a benefit calculation so we can understand how work will affect your benefits and the household income.  We want to make sure you are better off working and that we understand how many hours a week you need to work to ensure this.
  • Work Star Action Plan – at the end of your assessment we will complete an action plan with you.  This is your plan and all goals and activity will be agreed with you and reviewed monthly.  Some of these goals and activities may be challenging at first, but we will provide you with lots of support and encouragement.

Work-related activity

Once we have completed your assessment you will start to work towards your goals and complete the activity that’s been agreed.  Here are some examples of what this can include:

  • Job Club – we hold weekly job clubs fully supported by qualified, specialist employment advisers.
  • Employability Courses – you will be invited to attend weekly employability courses to learn about the world of work.
  • Work Tasters and Work Placements – we will identify unpaid time limited work placements for you with local employers to help you learn about the world of work and develop work skills.
  • Independent Travel – we will encourage you to travel independently to your activities and complete travel training with you.

Employer engagement and job matching

Whilst you are completing your activities we will be engaging with employers to identify paid opportunities for you.  

We know that traditional recruitment methods and formal interviews seldom result in offers of employment for people with disabilities and health conditions.  

We encourage employers to consider “working interviews” which allow the person to demonstrate their skills in the workplace and allows the employer to gather the evidence that a formal interview seeks to capture.

Often work experience placements will lead to paid employment, and your employment adviser will negotiate these opportunities with your placement provider. 

In-work support

You will receive in-work support and mentoring which is individually tailored, targeted and phased out over time. 

Career development

Your employer will be encouraged to develop your career as with any one else they employ.  This will include you having access to training and development opportunities where they are available within the company you work for.

There is more information about Supported Employment nationally on the British Association for Supported Employment website.