Employability provides support to gain work experience and supported employment, providing every person with a learning disability or autism the same opportunities as anyone else.

Issues experienced

For people with a learning disability or autism, there are various barriers to paid employment. Access is an issue, with individuals being prevented from applying for a job because they cannot understand or fill in an application form – something easily resolved by implementing reasonable adjustments. Another issue is other people’s preconceptions of learning disability and autism affecting their employment decisions.

How we address this

As well as skills training and work experience opportunities, which prepare our members for the world of work, we have connections with several employers to offer paid, supported work to those who want it. We currently have several members in paid employment, including working at M&S and Sainsbury’s. Paid employment not only gives people financial independence, it also allows them to grow in confidence and self-esteem. It helps expand social circles and to make them feel an integral part of their community.

Talkback’s Supported Employment solutions are based on over 20 years’ experience of enabling people with a learning disability or autism to develop and use their skills to enhance their quality of life. This is based on facilitating self-advocacy and building both self-confidence and self-esteem. We want people to be as independent as they are able or want to be. Talkback is about choice, opportunity and respect for all people with a learning disability or autism. We want the same opportunity for everyone and to create a solution that is cost neutral for the council.

Supported Employment

The aim of Supported Employment is to work with individuals to support them into successful paid employment of their choice. We want people with a learning disability or autism to feel valued and respected in the workplace and to have the same opportunities as everyone else.

The process of getting someone into employment demands high levels of intervention and support in year 1, with gradual lessening of support over years 2 and 3. Often, an established person with a learning disability or autism in paid employment has unique skills which are of great benefit for many employers.

Building Better Opportunities

Building Better Opportunities (BBO) is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund and its aim is to help tackle the poverty and social exclusion faced by the most disadvantaged people in England.

Building Better Opportunities – Support into Employment supports people with a learning disability and/or autism in Milton Keynes and Aylesbury who are currently unemployed or economically inactive (people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET), not actively seeking work in last 4 weeks and unavailable to work within next 2 weeks) to find work.

We want people with a learning disability and/or autism to be valued and respected in the workplace. This is achieved by giving both the individual and the employer realistic, ongoing support mechanisms within the workplace in the following areas:

  • Provide appropriate advice, assistance and support to adults who have a learning disability and/or autism within Milton Keynes and Aylesbury who wish to gain paid employment, or get a step closer to work.
  • Identify the needs and the wishes of people with a learning disability and/or autism, to plan and deliver a comprehensive, supportive and a creative range of employment / work opportunities to meet their aspirations.
  • Career guidance and CV writing
  • Support with job search
  • Interview skills and mock interviews
  • Support for people who need help developing their skills.
  • Support job seekers through work tasters, establishing a natural support within the work place
  • An enablement programme, working towards a ‘Phase Out’ model as need for support reduces and ongoing monitoring
  • Liaise with individual employers and employer organisations on a regular basis to negotiate employment opportunities.

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