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Preparing for Employment

Employability Training and Employment Support Services

There are local organisations that can provide training and support to help young people find employment. 

Job Centres

Jobcentre Plus is a government-funded employment agency and social security office that can be found in most cities, whose aim it is to help people of working age find employment in the UK. 

Jobcentre Plus provides resources to enable job-searchers to find work, through Jobpoints (touch-screen computer terminals), Jobseeker Direct (telephone service) and the Jobcentre Plus website. They offer information about training opportunities for unemployed people. They help with claims for benefits such as Income Support, Incapacity Benefit, and Jobseeker's Allowance.

Jobcentre Plus can refer job seekers to the Government’s work and health programme 

Find out more about Government’s work and health programme (opens a new window) 

The local programme is called Better Working Futures and is delivered by Reed in Partnership. You can self refer for this programme via this link Better Working Futures sign up (opens a new window)

 

The Work and Health Programme provides personal support to help you:

  • identify your employment needs
  • match your skills to work that’s available
  • put you in touch with employers
  • find long-term employment
  • get training to help you find work
  • manage health problems to reduce their impact on work

Disability Employment Advisors

If you have a health condition or a disability that affects your ability to work, you can get assistance and advice on returning to the workplace by speaking to a Work Coach at your local Jobcentre Plus. Work Coaches are trained to be able to help you to find work or to gain new skills for a job. They can help with work preparation, recruitment, interview coaching and even confidence building.


Kingston Jobcentre Plus

Guildhall 2
High Street
Kingston upon Thames
KT1 1EA

Twickenham Jobcentre Plus

59-63 London Road
Twickenham
Middlesex
TW1 3SZ

Find out more about how to contact Job Centre Plus on the GOV.UK website ( opens a new website) 

Job Centres on Social Media

Job Centres use Twitter to share jobs, events and essential careers advice.

Follow Job Centre Plus in South London (opens a new window)

Follow Job Centre Plus in West London (opens a new window) 

Access to Work

If you’re disabled or have a physical or mental health condition that makes it hard for you to do your job, you can:

  • talk to your employer about changes they must make in your workplace
  • get extra help from Access to Work, including mental health support

This might include a grant to help cover the costs of practical support in the workplace.

An Access to Work grant can pay for:

  • special equipment, adaptations or support worker services to help you do things like answer the phone or go to meetings
  • help getting to and from work

You might not get a grant if you already get certain benefits.

The money does not have to be paid back and will not affect your other benefits.

Find out more on the GOV.UK website 

Balance CIC

Balance CIC is a Community Interest Company (CIC) based in South West London which delivers high quality support to enable people to become less reliant on services and reach their potential. Balance grew out of a team that was part of Adult Social Care within Royal Borough of Kingston. Over the last nine years Balance has provided employment and support services to a range of client groups. 

Balance Employment Support Teams

If you need support to get into work or maintain your current job due to a disability or a health condition, Balance may be able to help you.

They  have two employment support teams, supporting people with:

  • mental health needs.
  • a learning disability.

Balance CIC Support and Skills Exchange Group

This is for self-employed and people running their own business. 

The group offers an opportunity to:

  • meet other business owners.
  • brainstorm.
  • swap ideas.
  • exchange skills.
  • learn from peers.

Visit Balance CIC website

Crossroads Care Transitional Project 

This is for young people aged between 15-18 years old, who identify as a young carer or have a Special Educational Need, who may need further support with exploring their future career aspirations. The project aims to help young people focus on exploring, identifying and matching skills to employment and career prospects. We also support the young people with CV and personal statement writing, preparation skills for interviews and creating opportunities for young people to participate in a work placement with local businesses. 

Our projects are by referral only. For more information, please contact Crossroads Care Richmond and Kingston upon Thames on 020 8943 9421 or info@crossroadscarerk.org.uk

Visit website 

Richmond Aid Job Club

The Job Club weekly sessions provide advice and guidance, supporting local disabled people to gain employment.  Services we provide for disabled people include:

  • Support with CV writing.
  • Help to access volunteering opportunities.
  • Help with job searching and applications.
  • Guidance and practical sessions on preparing for interview.
  • Help to access guidance on in-work benefits advice.
  • Help to access legal resources and assistance.
  • Monthly jobs bulletin.

Getting the help you need

For more information on this service, contact the Employment and Involvement Manager.

Our weekly drop-in Job Club is on Wednesdays 1.00pm – 3.30pm.

Employment and Involvement Manager: Jamie Cutler
Phone: 020 8831 6072
Email: j.cutler@richmondaid.org.uk

Richmond Aid website

MCCH Supported Employment Service

This supported employment service is for people with autism, learning disabilities, mental health needs, physical disabilities and sensory impairments. They work with the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames and Wandsworth Council to support people to gain and keep paid employment.

More about MCCH

Our Futures

Our Barn in Isleworth offer a Monday to Thursday programme for those aged up to 35 who are not in education, employment or training.

Activities are based on developing self-awareness and confidence, gaining new skills and experience with the aim of securing long-term volunteering or paid employment. We are based at:

The BridgeLink Centre

Summerwood Road

Isleworth

TW7 7QR

Mobile: 07933 596697     

Contact david@ourbarn.org.uk for more information.

Career Guidance Service @Express

Career Guidance Service @Express is a free service offered to those on the autistic spectrum who would benefit from some support and guidance around areas such as:
 

  • Career Planning
  • CV Writing
  • LinkedIn
  • Market Research
  • Interview Skills


Sessions are with Will, who is a careers transition coach and will be on Monday mornings at the Express offices in Tolworth.
 
If you are interested in this service and would like more information please Express at cgs@expresscic.org.uk

 

S.T.E.P.S employment support and work experience at The People's Hive

The People's Hive and Absolute Support have formed a partnership in the Richmond Borough to deliver an effective and meaningful volunteer and work experience project called S.T.E.P.S.

This project gives adults with learning disabilities the opportunity to learn at Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College in a 12 week courses in Health and Social Care or a Retail course. These courses are run aside a work experience placement either in a care home or in a community setting or at The People Hive, where the students have the chance to put into practice what they have learnt on the courses. The students will be supervised on their placement at first and their team leader will work with them to develop new skills and become more independent in their role. During the work experience they will be assessed against standards, produce actions plans and have a final assessment at the end to highlight what they have learn and achieved.

The type of roles the students will fulfil are befriender, activity leader, gardening, working in a launderette, supporting people in their homes, as well as a working in the community. The students will also be able to work in a shop in Twickenham called The People Hive which is a gallery selling local artist products. These roles are very rewarding and has helped out current students become more confident, develop new skills such as time management, working on their own initiative, problem solving and supporting people in a person centred way.

Work Experience and Volunteering Information 

After the students have completed the college course and work placement they have the option to attend an Employability Job Club. This is a 16 week programme run in partnership with Richmond Mencap. This program looks at preparing adults with learning disabilities for work and supporting the individuals to identify what jobs they would like and develop a Personal Development Plan. In the course we look at communication, assessing yourself, knowing your best self, problem solving, team work, health and safety, applying for jobs, producing a CV, interview skills, have a mock interview and much more.

At the end of the course they will be supported by Choice Support who are employment specialists or STEPS to progress in your working career. Alternatively they can just attend the Job Club without taking part in the STEPS project. Job Club is on Thursdays at 12pm at Age UK Richmond, Twickenham Wellbeing Centre.

If you are interested please contact The People's Hive on 020 7977 5447 or email on info@rhlt.org.uk or contact Frankie Whitehead on 07775 370790 or email him on stepsscheme@gmail.com

Kingston Eco Op

The Kingston Eco-op is a project which offers a range of developmental activities for adults who have learning disabilities, mental health problems or other challenges in their lives.

Kingston Eco-op provides:

Work experience: Currently participants are doing poppy assembly in conjunction with charity RBL (Royal British Legion). This is a positive experience in its own right, as it helps clients learn new skills and build their confidence whilst helping them on the path towards learning employment skills.

Social activities: This includes topical group discussions, book clubs and group exercise sessions to aid wellbeing and promote learning.

Group trips: This year this has included a River Thames Cruise, Hayling Island seaside trip and a Christmas meal. These trips are hugely important for our clients, reducing isolation and helping them grow in confidence and experience new places.

Development of skills: Each service user has an individual meeting with the workshop staff to review their progress and to discuss issues such as:

  • Timekeeping
  • Attendance
  • Ability to carry out agreed tasks
  • Engagement with staff and other service users These help identify the strengths and support needs of the participant. Once people feel ready for work or volunteering, we provide a reference and help with CVs and job applications.

We have links with Richmond & Hillcroft Adult Community College (RHACC), the Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames employment support team and Balance Kingston to provide training and support into work and volunteering for our service users and volunteers.

Visit the Kingston Eco Op website

Working Well Trust - Kingston Supported Employment Service

The Kingston Supported Employment Service is a new project that offers:

  • One to one action planning
  • Support in volunteer and work experience
  • Employment support
  • Support people to become more independent

How to refer:

The Kingston Supported Employment Service is a free service for the borough's residents.

If you would like to refer yourself or someone else please complete the referral forms on the Working Well Trust Website and send to kingston@wwtrust.co.uk

WorkStart from Orchard Hill College

WorkStart is a package of courses designed for NEETs (Not in Employment, Education or Training) and people with barriers to learning, delivered by Orchard Hill College, an Ofsted Outstanding specialist college.

WorkStart gives students the opportunity to gain work experience and qualifications. Students work one-to-one with Job Coaches to get on track to achieving their ambitions, providing students with:

  • Job searching
  • CV writing
  • Interview preparation
  • Support in the workplace
  • Travel training
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Tailored support

No previous qualifications are needed to apply, and we have courses for applicants with and without an EHCP. Students have the opportunity to work towards:

  • Maths and English Functional Skills, Entry Level 1 to Level 2 (optional)
  • Personal development or employability qualifications
  • Other work-specific qualifications
  • Qualifications to move on to an Apprenticeship

Kick start your career now! Visit workstart.me.uk, text ‘WorkStart’ to 07733 360 820 or email OConnolly@orchardhill.ac.uk 

Spear Programme

The Spear Programme helps young people facing disadvantage into work or education. We know that young people have huge potential; we’re helping to change what they believe about themselves by equipping them with confidence, motivation and the vital skills they need to succeed in long-term employment.

What does it involve?

  • Coaching to overcome challenging attitudes and behaviours.​
  • Practical training such as writing a good CV and mock interview practice.
  • A year of support for each candidate to help them find a job and succeed in work.


Find out more on the Spear website (opens a new window)

Turnover - Taking Control

TurnOver provides youth with the tools to take back control on their lives. If young people have been excluded or at risk of being excluded from school, are difficult to manage, are being bullied, have little or no qualifications (NEET), have or at risk of offending (on ROTL). Project TurnOver provides the tools and assistance to help turn your life around.

The TurnOver programme (opens a new window) also offers essential enrichment and sporting activities which supports the development of the whole individual through not only improving their mental but also their physical wellbeing. By combining life skills training with playing rugby, boxing, gym and other sports within a team, the programme accredits the values and heart of the rugby community to its success. 

Hillcroft College - Courses for Women 

A specialist programme at Hillcroft Campus in Surbiton is to help women get back into learning or to progress their education to higher level or employment. Courses can be studied during the day, evening or weekend on a residential basis to develop at your own pace in a supportive environment. Fee concessions, bursaries and childcare support are available.

Courses include a weekend course whichwill provide an outline of dyslexia and how it can impact on learning. For women who have dyslexia or if you are a parent/carer of a child with dyslexia.

Find out more the Richmond and Hillcroft College website (opens a new window) 

NatWest Dream Bigger - Courses for Young Women

Dream Bigger is a fully funded programme focused on developing transferrable entrepreneurial skills in 16-18 year old females across the UK. The aim is to drive confidence in preparation for the future world of work and impact the percentage of women who intend to start a business.

Dream Bigger programme (opens a new window)