Preparing for Adulthood - Employment.

Combining work and study - Traineeships, Supported Internships and Apprenticeships

If you decide you do not want to continue with full time study but would like to do a combination of study and ‘on the job’ training, there are several options available. Here is a short video that explains the different options (external link).  Eligibility criteria varies and you may not get paid a salary, here is a brief overview of the main schemes available and who to contact to find out more:


A course that includes a work placement that will get you ready for an apprenticeship or a job. You'll get work experience and some help to apply for your next steps. You can also improve your maths and English skills. 

Supported Internship

Supported internships are for young people with learning difficulties or learning disabilities, who have an EHC Plan and need extra support to get a job. Leads to paid employment. 

Read more about Project Search

Please read guidance on how to provide supported internships for young people with an EHC plan (external link).


Intermediate, advanced higher and degree apprenticeships (Level 2 up to 7) combine practical on-the-job skills training with off-the-job learning. There are many apprenticeships available based on your interests and location. You'll get training that is specific to your job and be paid a salary. Start at a level to suit you, with support if you have special needs or a disability. Leads to: paid employment, next level of apprenticeship. 

  • Work/study split - You'll spend 80% of your time in the workplace and 20% off-the-job with some study in a college, training centre or Institute of Technology (IoT)
  • Duration - A minimum of 1 year
  • Entry requirements - Will be dependent on the industry, job role and apprenticeship level
  • Qualifications: apprenticeship certificate, diploma, degree and masters depending on level
  • Salary - Yes - You will be entitled to: The National Minimum Wage (however some employers pay more), time for training or study as part of your apprenticeship, holiday pay and other employee rights. There are different rates of pay for apprentices depending on your age and what year of your apprenticeship you're in. You can check the national minimum age here (external link). If you're under 25 when you start your apprenticeship and have previously been in local authority care, you may be eligible for a bursary (extra money that you do not have to pay back) payment. 
  • Apprenticeships near me: you can search for local apprenticeship opportunities in your area at Find an Apprenticeship (external link).

An apprentice with an EHC plan receives funding for the core cost of their training in the same way as all other apprentices. This funding comes from the apprenticeship budget, but employers choose the apprentices and apprenticeship training they need in their business and negotiate how much funding will be paid for it. If an apprentice is 16-18, or aged 19-24 and has an EHC plan, then their employer and training provider each receive an additional £1000 to meet any extra costs in their training.

Other Programmes

Choice Support - Sutton supported employment (external link)

Choice Support work with the London Borough of Sutton to support people with autism, learning disabilities, mental health needs, physical disabilities and sensory impairments to gain and keep paid employment. This may mean paid work, work experience or voluntary work.

Nickel Support Community Interest Company

Nickel support is a  not-for-profit community interest organisation which  supports adults (16+) with learning disabilities by offering real life opportunities. This could be to improve work skills, or support with life skill development. They offer people the chance to get involved with social enterprises managed and run by the trainees with learning disabilities who access the service. 

Steps into Work (external link)

Steps into Work is a 3 way partnership between TFL, Mencap and Barnet & Southgate College that provides work experience for adults with mild to moderate learning disabilities and/or on the autism spectrum.

CareTrade (external link)

A multi-award winning charity providing innovative opportunities for Londoners with autism to transition from school/college towards and into employment.