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There are lots of options for employment. You can read this guide from ‘Preparing for Adulthood’ about routes into work. It provides information about options for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to help them move into paid employment. Click on the questions for more information.

  • Employment is:

    paid work
    paid at national minimum wage or above
    full time or part time
    It could be self employment – where you receive pay for goods or services you provide

    Employment is NOT:

    Going to a day centre
    Being paid less than the national minimum wage
    A work placement or work experience

    • The Magna Vitae is a strength based personal passport and an alternative to the traditional CV.

      Currently being used by a number of organisations across the UK, the MV has been welcomed by people who do not have a consistent work history or perhaps no formal working experience at all.

      Employers simply need to add ‘Magna Vitae also accepted’, to their recruitment site, demonstrating that they are open to supporting people with alternative life experience and a willingness to learn.


      The MV was designed for the reasons summed up so eloquently in the following quote:

      “I love my MV because I want an employer to value me as a person, to know and understand my strengths and my current limitations. I want to know that they will endeavour to safeguard my mental, emotional and physical wellbeing and that in return I will carry out my role to the best of my ability.

      The current recruitment processes reflect none of these values or qualities and leave vulnerable adults such as myself, filled with an overwhelming feeling of fear and anxiety that we are being set up to fail.”

      Everyone should have access to an MV”

      You can download the Magna Vita here:

      Download a Magna Vitae (pdf, for printing)

      Download a Magna Vitae (pdf, editable)

      Download an editable Magna Vitae (pdf, with box numbers, editable)

      Magna Vitae Instructions

      “I don’t really know where to start. I rang up about a job on Tuesday, had a chat with the manager. I then took in my MV and a cover letter the next morning. Then Wednesday afternoon she calls me and asked if I could go in for a interview on Thursday. So I said yes. The interview went ok, answered all the questions, she then offered me the job. I still can’t believe it I feel a bit shell shocked. The job was for a kitchen assistant in a residential home in ____, so right on my doorstep. It would only take me 10/15 mins to walk there. Now I’m so nervous, this is such a huge thing. Anyway I wanted to let you know, also she was very impressed with the MV. She thought it was a brilliant idea. Said she hadn’t seen one before but was a brilliant way of introducing yourself. She was very impressed. So thank you for helping me with the MV.”

      • Before the interview

        Give some thought to what questions you might be asked and think how you might reply. Think about what experiences, skills and abilities you have had and how that might relate to the questions you might be asked. Make a list of questions you might like to know about the job to ask at interview. You will need to dress appropriately for the interview with clean, tidy clothes and shoes. If you feel you need some extra support ask a parent, friend or a support worker to go with you to give you additional confidence.

        At the interview

        You will need to arrive perhaps 10- 15 mins early to give yourself a chance to feel calm and prepare your thoughts. During the interview try and speak clearly, and if possible keep eye contact with the person interviewing you. If you are unsure what they are asking you , ask them to repeat the question. If you really want the job, show your enthusiasm and willingness to train to do the task. Remember to ask the list of questions about the job you previously prepared.

        After the interview

        At the end of the interview thank the interviewer for the opportunity and shake their hand. Find out when the interviewers will contact you to tell you whether you got the job. If you don’t get the job, you can ask for feedback from the interviewers to help you at future interviewers. If you do get the job, find out what time to arrive and where to go on your first day. You will need to plan how to get to work and back home. If you feel you need some extra support ask a parent, friend or a support worker to go with you to give you additional confidence.

      • Below is a list of skills employers will be looking for – which do you think you have?

        Work skills employers are looking for in an employee

          • reliable
          • good time keeping
          • honest person
          • has a desire to work
          • can focus on a task
          • conscientious
          • pleasant and cheerful personality
          • helpful and considerate to others
          • enjoys routine tasks
          • pays close attention to detail/accuracy
          • loyal

        Read Benefits of paid employment for ALL

        Ask yourself… How can I help myself?
        What activities do I already do during the week? Complete a weekly timetable.
        What type of work am I looking for? Make a list of the type of work you would like to do.
        Have I got a current CV or Magna Vitae? Make sure your CV or MV is up to date. Look for a template online.
        What are my strengths and weaknesses? Make a list of things you are good at and things you are not so good at.
        Do I know anyone who could write a reference for me? You need usually a reference to get a job. Make a list of people you could ask.
        Where do I go to start looking for work? You can go to Job Centre Plus or if you are known to Adult Social Care call Care Direct and ask for help to find paid work – 0345 155 1007.
        Have I had a ‘Better off in Work’ calculation (benefits check)? Arrange a visit to Job Centre Plus or the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB).

        • Specialist Employability Support provides mentoring and training to help you into work if you’re disabled and can’t use other employment programmes. More information about this support can be found at GOV.UK – Specialist Employability Support.

          • Do you have a skill or talent from which you could create a business, and become self employed? Find out more about working for yourself.

            What is good about being self employed?

            • you’re the boss
            • freedom to pick and choose your work
            • you work the hours you want, when you want.

            What is bad about being self-employed?

              • no work security
              • no paid holidays
              • income that may go up or down.

            • You can find out more about support from Job Centre Plus on the dedicated ‘Job Centre Plus’ page of this site.

              Access to Work

              Access to Work is a grant from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which helps pay for practical support so that disabled people can do their jobs. It is provided where some needs support or adaptions beyond the reasonable adjustments which an employer is legally obliged to provide under the equality Act 2010.

              If you have a health condition or a disability, Access to Work can provide practical and financial support to help you overcome barriers to starting or keeping a job.

              Access to Work advisors can also give practical advice to an employer or work experience provider.

              If eligible for Access to Work, support will be available for customers aged 16-24 when undertaking a work experience opportunity.

              How can it help me?

              Access to Work can help to pay for support you may need because of your health condition or disability, for example:

              • practical help during your time on work experience such as a support worker, job coach or a sign-language interpreter aids and equipment in your workplace
              • adapting equipment to make it easier for you to use
              • money towards any extra travel costs to and from work experience if you can’t use available public transport or your own mode of transport
              • an interpreter or other support at a job interview if you have difficulty communicating.

              Do I qualify for this help?

              You can apply for Access to Work support for work experience if you have a disability or health condition that has a long-term negative effect on your ability to do your work experience. Long-term means lasting or likely to last for at least 12 months and:

              • be 16 or over
              • live in England, Scotland or Wales

              More information



              • CSW Group can work with SEND young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET) until their 20th birthday. CSW Advisers support students with a statement of special educational needs or EHCP in Year 11 by meeting with the young person (and/or their parent/carer) to discuss and plan their transition to post-16. We then complete a Post-16 Choices and Options report that is shared with their new education provider and the 0-25 Team, and support the young person through their transition. This report details elements of young persons’ support needs and the outcomes they are looking to achieve from their Post-16 education. We also undertake this work with any student with an EHC plan looking to transfer to a different educational establishment post-16.

                • What’s new?

                  A new Work and Health Programme is expected to be introduced soon. It will replace both Work Choice and Work Programme, with the aim of transforming employment support for people that find it hardest to get a job; those with health conditions and disabilities and the very long term unemployed.

                • We need your help to make sure that the information we provide is easy to find and understand. Please let us know what you think of what we have done so far, what we’ve missed or what we could do better. We will publish comments we receive and explain how we have acted on them.

                  Update 05/04/19

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