We hope these pages help you to find the information you are looking for. If you would like to speak with an adviser from our Information and Advice service please do not hesitate to call us on 01305 213135. Alternatively please contact us through the website.
Getting work is not easy. Before you start applying for work, you need to think about the following things:
- what skills do I have to offer an employer?
- what type of work would I be good at?
- what type of work would I enjoy?
- what type of work would I dislike?
- what type of place would I be able to work in?
- how many hours a week can I manage?
All of these things need to be considered before you begin to look for work. The link below will take you to some useful tools to help you investigate different types of jobs and plan for employment:
Planning Your Career
Education and Training
You might find that the jobs you want need certain qualifications or training. You can use the following link to get advice on choosing the right type of course, funding for courses and improving your career through learning:
Finding the right course for you
If you know the type of work you are looking for, you may want to think about working as a volunteer first. This is work that you do not get paid for however you will gain lots of experience and be able to test your skills in a real job. Many voluntary placements will give you additional training and help you to gain qualifications. You will also get a reference which will show a future employer that you can do the job for which you are applying. Voluntary placements can be a good way of trying out different types of roles and work settings to find out what suits you. Most areas have a volunteer bureau, but you can also search for local opportunities.
If you would like to find out about volunteering for Autism Wessex you can contact our Volunteer Co-ordinator, Sylvia Carpenter on 01305 213138 or contact us through the website or see our Volunteering pages.
If you are in receipt of benefits and are thinking about starting work or have been offered a job, check out how your benefits will be affected. You can get advice from our Information and Advice Service – contact us on 01305 213135 or contact us through the website.
Or you can see an advisor at your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB). Use the following link to search for your local CAB: CAB
Applying for work
So now you know what type of work you are looking for and feel ready to start applying for work. You might find some of the tools below helpful as they include guidance on CV writing and templates for you to create a CV, completing application forms, going to interviews and starting a new job.
CVs and covering letters
Starting a new job
The National Autistic Society has produced some information specifically for people with autism who are looking for work that you can download from their website.
Help at the Jobcentre
Each Jobcentre has a Disability Employment Advisor (DEA). A DEA can help you find a job and gain new skills. DEAs can also refer you to local schemes, support or funding to help you find and keep employment. The following link has information on DEAs and a search tool to help you find your local Jobcentre:
Looking for work if you are disabled
Access to Work Funding
An Access to Work grant is money for practical support to help you to do your job. It’s for people with a disability, health or mental health condition. You must be in paid employment or unemployed and about to start work or a work placement.
The grant can pay for:
- Specialist equipment
- Travel if you cannot use public transport
- A communicator at a job interview
- A support worker or jobcoach to help you in the workplace
- Disability awareness training for your colleagues.
Find out more about Access to Work here
Job or Work Clubs can be a good way to help improve employment prospects and get help with applying for jobs.
Enterprise clubs/groups support unemployed people to become self-employed or start their own business.
You can ask at your local Job Centre Plus or Volunteer Bureau about clubs in your area.
Dorset Mental Health Forum runs Workwise Coffee Mornings in Dorchester and Bournemouth.
Some local authorities and mental health teams provide employment support schemes so you may wish to make enquiries with your local aservices to see if there is any support you can access.
For more information on any of the above, please contact our Information and Advice Service on 01305 213135 or email us.