Routes into Employment after Age 16

The following are some of the options available to you:


Apprenticeships are sometimes called the “learn while you earn” route. That’s a good summary of what they are. You work alongside other staff, gain work skills, study for a qualification and get paid.

Disability Rights UK is campaigning for more flexibility in the entry criteria for SEND young people. They believe that not having Maths and English at level 2 could be a barrier to SEND young people. They want more Inclusive Apprenticeships.

So with the employer’s agreement:

  • Entry Level, Level 1 or 2 Functional Skills can be included in an apprenticeship training package.
  • British Sign language can be an alternative to English Functional Skills for Deaf people whose first language is BSL
  • SEND young people with an EHCP  can apply for an adjustment to the minimum standards of English and Maths required.
  • SEND young people with a ‘Legacy Statement’ can apply for an adjustment to the minimum standards of English and Maths required. A ‘Legacy Statement’ is a personal declaration on how a SEND young person would like to live their life.

Search for an apprenticeship


Traineeships are designed for young people who want to get a job, but don’t yet have the skills and experience to compete effectively in the job market. It includes a work placement and study. Traineeships are unpaid and usually last for six months or less.

The programme helps you gain the confidence, skills, qualifications and work experience you will need to get a job or apprenticeship.

Search for a traineeship


If you aren’t quite ready for an apprenticeship or a traineeship, then consider ‘The Study Programme’. This is a mix of vocational qualifications, work placements, English and maths.

There are several training providers in the Sandwell area who offer this. You can start one at any time of the year.

Supported Internships

Supported internships are open to SEND 16 – 24 year olds. They last for at least 6 months. You follow a personalised programme which includes on-the-job training and support from a work coach. You may  possibly study for Maths and English. The aim is to enable you to take up paid employment at the end of the internship.

You usually need to apply for a supported internship through a local FE college college, although it is also available at several local schools such as Westminster. They have links with employers who can offer placements.

Qualifications aren’t important, but you do need an EHCP to be eligible.

Young people on a supported internship can apply for an ‘Access to Work Grant’ for support with travel & buying specialist equipment.



Prefer to speak to one of our friendly team?

No problem - chat or meet us face-to-face

Get in Touch

Find Us

One Stop Shop, Oldbury Council House, Freeth Street, Oldbury, B69 3DB


Call Us


Phone: 0121 569 2955

Freephone: 0800 358 4800

Mobile: 07748930976


Email Us

Send us a message

    This information is treated in line with the Council's privacy policy