The voice of specialist further education


Developing students’ employability is a core aim of the curriculum for most students in specialist colleges.

Supported internships

Supported Internships are structured study programmes for young people aged 16 to 24 with an Education, Health and Care Plan, which last a minimum of six months and combine learning in the workplace (with job coach support) with college-based provision, e.g. English and maths.

Supported Internship resources from DfE and Preparing for Adulthood

Upcoming employability training

Introduction to job coaching

11 November 2021
This is an interactive workshop for staff supporting students with SEND in the workplace, including learning support assistants, tutors, teachers, and other support roles.

Quality assuring Supported Internships and work-based learning programmes

16 November 2021
This workshop is for staff and managers of Supported Internships and work-based learning programmes for young people with SEND who have a quality assurance responsibility for the provision.

The Gatsby Benchmarks

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

The Gatsby Foundation’s Good Career Guidance: Perspectives from the SEND sector 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.

Disability Confident

The Government’s Disability Confident scheme supports employers to become confident to recruit, retain and develop disabled people in their workforce. Download the employment fact sheet.

Disability Confident Committed logo

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.

Natspec Employment Forum

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

  • supported internships
  • engaging local employers
  • reverse job fairs
  • vocational profiling.

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

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