Case Studies of learners who have been supported into vocational pathways

This project is part-financed by the European Union. ESF in England is investing in jobs and skills – focusing on people who need support the most and helping them fulfil their potential. 

R achieved good exam results at school and has a real desire to get into the workplace. She is 19 and attended a local school. R has cerebral palsy, so access and travel distance is particularly important in ensuring the success of a potential role. After meeting her, AfC’s SEND Opportunities Coordinator got in touch with a local large nursery with excellent access and a busy administration department as the young person was keen to work in an office environment.

R completed this placement and received very good feedback from her employer. However there were no vacancies at the time. As a result of the placement R then secured a longer term, part-time placement within, supporting AfC’s SEN Transport Team. The SEND Coordinator worked with the employer to set up the placement, plan the workload, and make reasonable adaptations to the workplace to accommodate her.

R has impressed her employer and the team she has been working with. As a result, we have worked in partnership with Way 2 Work to create a part-time, two year apprenticeship position, which R has been successful in securing. 


T attended Clarendon School for Special educational needs. Having behavioural and emotional difficulties as well as having barriers to learning with his writing and literacy, he was excluded in year 11 before he was able to sit his GCSEs. T then moved to Sutton and District training where he achieved a Level 1 in construction and picked up his maths and English again at Entry level.

Unfortunately through his actions T became involved in the youth offending team who referred him to the Kingston and Richmond Education Business Partnership. We set T up with a few placements which didn’t work out for one reason or another – however, they did help T to focus on what he would like to do. As a result of his course at Sutton and District training he wanted to go into some form of construction.

Through our contacts we were able to setup work experience for him with a local property maintenance company. T worked for two weeks before being offered the opportunity of an Apprenticeship in plumbing at Level 2. T started his training in September 2015 attending a college once a week and the remaining days working with a skilled professional. We worked very closely with the employer and T every step of the way to ensure a steady path.

T has excelled this time. His manager cannot speak highly enough of him and his commitment to the Apprenticeship. T is now in his second year.


Access to Work grant

When you go into employment or work experience and you have a disability, health condition or mental health condition that affects your ability to work, you may be able to claim an Access to Work grant from the job centre. There is also support available when you go for an interview. The grant is payable if your disability affects your ability to do a job, or you have to pay work related costs, such as travel because you can’t use public transport, for example .

Find out more about the grants available (

Find general information on support in the workplace (opens a new web site)