Being on Job Seekers Allowance can make you feel really hopeless. Your confidence goes and you dont think you will ever get a job. Thank you so much for believing in me Cute Dog and for giving me 3 different work placements. I really believe I will get a job now!

ST 2014 Brighton

European Social Fund


The primary purpose of this course, which can be delivered one to one or in groups of up to 20 is to encourage engagement by potential JCP customers who traditionally find it difficult or extremely challenging to access JCP services

Our experience is that the journey to employment is individual to each person's specific needs and personal circumstances - and that for people with autism, particularly, making the link between being work ready and getting a job is a big step

Many of the autistic people we have worked with are work ready and motivated in many ways but cannot access the vacancies that exist due to their barrier of engaging with JCP. The most compelling feedback we have is that 'the advisor just didn't 'get me' and made me feel nervous'

We have planned a series of innovative activities, which include role play and a 'get to know me as me' activity. This activity will help the person with a disability explain themselves to their job coach. No matter how much training is offered to job coaches, it is always difficult to build relationships with new clients, and especially those with multiple and specific barriers such as speech, hearing, social or physical disability. The most important outcome of our course is to build levels of confidence between beneficiaries and the job centre, so that the JCP is seen as a valuable and non-threatening resource

There will be a large element of 1:1 support and mentoring, including chaperoning to the local JCP for the first meeting. We intend to follow the Government and JCP guidance in terms of 'Looking for a job', which inform participants about disability confident employers

The purpose of our course is to introduce, initiate and guide any disadvantaged claimants to the support that the Jobcentre can offer. Our core message will be:

The guidance from the Jobcentre is they can help you find a job or gain new skills and tell you about disability-friendly employers in your area, or refer you to a specialist work psychologist, if appropriate, or carry out an 'employment assessment', asking you about:

- your skills and experience

- what kind of roles you're interested in, and we will broker and explain this service to our beneficiaries

But the reality is that this a heavy onus on the job coach, and there is an expectation that a trust-based relationship will be formed quickly to produce job related results. We know this is a big 'ask' and that in reality something needs to change in order to bring disabled/ marginalised, BME and NEET people to the attention of potential employers and local vacancies

All participants will achieve 100% Action Plan outputs

What isn't working - it is our experience that people with learning disabilities or who have a PIP and ESA are, in some cases, ready and willing to work, but cannot find a vacancy or suitable employer, and have become entrenched in either staying at home or doing repetitive and non progressional work placements. In SOME cases, they are not making use of the Jobcentre advisors and their connection and the whole focus of this course is to get these claimants to view JCP staff as their supporters and mentors, rather than a barrier to progression and work. The purpose of this course is to turn negative perceptions on both sides on their head and help beneficiaries to view work, and access to the Job Centre as a realistic and non-threatening prospect

Our experience is that the journey to employment is particularly challenging for those on ESA - (especially those with Autism, which affects 1 in 100 people in the UK). This pre-employment course has been designed specifically for those people who are on the disabled, marginalised and on the Autism spectrum - who may be able to demonstrate considerable learning and performance capacity, but who are not able to find employment without a meaningful, regular and open relationship with the Job Centre