The voice of specialist further education

Employment Opportunities

Working with employers

Natspec colleges work with an average of 21 employers. Students also may take part in a variety of internal work enterprises to prepare them for the world of work.

Students at Natspec Colleges have increasing access to work experience opportunities. Some Colleges have custom facilities for their students. These introduce students into the world of work through on-site cafes, hotels, pubs and shops. Short term work experience is available, as well as supported internships.

Supporting Students into Employment

The Natspec Employment Forum meets twice a year. This forum is for all Natspec staff involved with supporting students into work. Previous topics covered at the employment forums include:

  • supported internships
  • engaging local employers
  • implementing the Gatsby Benchmarks
  • what meaningful careers education and guidance looks like for students with complex learning needs and/or disabilities.

Check our events calendar to find out when the next Employment Forum is.

The Gatsby Benchmarks

The Gatsby Benchmarks are a framework for providing good careers guidance to students.

The Gatsby Foundation has produced “Good Career Guidance: Perspectives from the SEND sector.” This provides examples of how colleges in the sector have met and utilised the Benchmarks in their careers provision.

You can find further support on implementing the Benchmarks on their website.

Employer Survey

In 2017 and 2018 we conducted a survey of employers with links to Natspec Colleges.

Key facts from the 2018 survey include:

  • 96% of employers rated colleges as good or outstanding in setting up work placements;
  • 97% of employers rated college staff as providing good or outstanding support to students during a placement;
  • 98% of employers said that college staff were clear about the expectations of them.

We also found that awareness of the Disability Confident scheme increased amongst employers. 43% of employers had heard of the scheme and 27% were signed up to it in 2018, compared to 17% and 9% in 2017.

Survey results

Read the results of our latest employer survey.

Disability Confident

The Government’s Disability Confident scheme is aimed at giving employers the tools they need to recruit, retain and develop disabled people in their workforce. Download the employment fact sheet.

Employers can sign up to one of three new levels:

  • Disability Confident Committed (Level 1), encouraging employers to start the journey
  • Disability Confident Employer (Level 2), where employers are recruiting, retaining and developing disabled staff
  • Disability Confident Leader (Level 3), where they ensure they are helping others to be Disability Confident as well.


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