Employment for people with additional needs
Choosing a company to work for can sometimes be a challenge. You may be worried about how much information to share about your needs.
The Equality Act requires employers to make reasonable adjustments to make sure employees with disabilities or physical or mental health conditions aren’t substantially disadvantaged during training, assessment or when doing their jobs.
Finding and applying for a job
Lots of organisations are geared up to help you get the right job or training placement to suit your abilities, interests and needs, you can find these on the government’s Disability Confident scheme.
The GOV.UK website can be useful with guidance and advice about getting a job and the types of schemes available to help you. You can use their Find a job service to search and apply for jobs. There are also different people who can help with support for work, including Job Coaches.
Some jobs you will need to fill in an application form. Some jobs you may need you to attach a CV or cover letter. If you are still in education, you can get help writing a CV or cover letter from your tutor or careers service. SomersetWorks can also help with job applications, writing a CV and employability skills to help prepare you for the world of work, if you are aged 15-18 and not in education, employment or training.
If your application is successful, you will need to go for a job interview. This is where the organisation will ask you about why you think you will be good at the job. It is your chance to talk about all your skills and experience. You could write down some notes of some questions you may be asked to help you in your interview.
Checking the employer and job is a good fit for you
You will need to consider where the employer is based and how you will get there. Some jobs may need to travel within work as well. You’ll also need to check the hours that you’ll be working, both in your contract and overtime.
Co-workers are a big influence on the working environment and how effective you’ll be when working alongside one another. It’s a great idea to try, if possible, to meet as many team members as you can during the interview.
Make sure that you check the facts that you have been told by the employer. You may want to ask more questions or view their disability policy. Larger companies will have an occupational health lead within their Human Resources team, who focusses on keeping people well at work.
It can be helpful to let the employer know any additional needs before you start, or even for the interview. This is so they can put all the necessary adjustments in place, to help you have the best start to your new job. But this can be done afterwards if you prefer. Don’t forget that you may be able to access support and adjustments through Access to Work. Employers may not be aware that this can support funding equipment, personal assistants or travel specifically related to disability.
If you are struggling with the pressure of job hunting, then look at the lifehacks which have been written by young people for young people. You can also contact Mindline 24/7 Helpline, Kooth online counselling, or TellMi.