Services for Young People Hertfordshire Services for Young People

Supported Employment

The Services for Young People Supported Employment Team helps young people with learning difficulties and disabilities to find suitable paid work and thrive in the workplace.

Working in a coffee shop

Services for Young People has a dedicated Supported Employment Team which provides specialised support to young people with learning difficulties and disabilities, helping them to find work and then supporting them in the workplace.

The Supported Employment Team work with local employers, schools and colleges to find suitable work experience placements and then paid work for young people aged 16 to 25. Supported Employment Advisers also train and coach young people to prepare them for the world of work and support them through the process of obtaining and sustaining employment.

For more information read this report on Supported Employment.

Contact the Supported Employment Team on 01438 844999 to discuss how we can help, or email

Professionals who work with young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities and their parents/carers can refer them to Services for Young People using this Supported Employment referral form.

Supported Employment posters

Two posters about Supported Employment have been produced, one for young people and their parents/carers and one for employers. Both posters can be downloaded here - just click on the links below:

Why do people work?

It may seem obvious, and it’s something that many of us take for granted, but working allows us to:

  • Earn a wage and be financially independent
  • Learn new skills and experience new situations
  • Meet new people, make new friends and feel included in society
  • Increase our sense of self-respect and self-worth

Research has shown that generally people who work are healthier and happier.

Support for young people

Using their specialist skills and knowledge, the advisers in our Supported Employment Team work intensively with young people… 

  • Exploring and identifying options for employment
  • Raising aspirations and self-esteem
  • Assisting with CVs, applications and interview skills
  • Helping to find paid work or work experience
  • Providing training and support in the workplace
  • Offering ongoing support and help with any issues
  • Supporting a greater degree of freedom and independence

Our goal is always to find suitable paid employment for each individual. Through contacts and marketing to local employers, we identify vacancies and aim to put forward suitable candidates before the vacancy is advertised to the public. Where possible we try to avoid application forms and interviews – favouring work trials or working interviews to avoid any indirect discrimination and ensure employers really get to see what the young people can do with our support. 

Support for employers

Our Supported Employment Advisers also work closely with local employers, essentially offering a free recruitment service. They match the right person to the right job and ensure that, with the correct support and training, they can do the job to a high standard and become a valued and effective member of the team.

There are still many misconceptions about people with learning difficulties and disabilities among employers. Did you know that people with learning difficulties and disabilities…

  • In the right job can perform every bit as well as someone without a learning difficulty or disability
  • Frequently take less time off sick
  • Are often more motivated, dedicated and hardworking
  • Can bring new perspectives and insights to a business
  • Can increase morale and motivation across the rest of the team
  • Can increase positivity from the local community potentially increasing custom

Our service to employers includes: 

  • Finding someone keen to work who can do the job – no hassle, no fuss
  • Using tried, tested and proven methods* to help train the new member of staff
  • Helping increase understanding of various learning difficulties and disabilities
  • Providing ongoing support and advice

All Supported Employment Advisers are qualified in ‘Systematic Instruction’, also known as ‘Structured Training’, a tried and tested method used internationally in the training and development of people with learning difficulties and disabilities.