Support for Employment

Services supporting young people with SEND into employment

Jobcentre Plus - Disability Employment Advisors (DEA)

Role overview of the Disability Employment Advisors (DEAs), this can vary to meet the needs of customers and partners:

  • DEAs work alongside Jobcentre staff including work coaches to support customers with Disabilities and Health Conditions.
  • Act as Specific Points of Contact for our external partners and stakeholders.
  • Share knowledge with partners about health and disability local provision, services, training and employment opportunities.
  • Champion schemes to support our disabled customers for example Disability Confident, Access To Work and Access To Work Mental Health Services.
  • Signpost and support employers/employees on retention, looking at work solutions alongside our EA’s (Employer Advisers).
  • Support and advice people who are not in receipt of benefits.

Please feel free to call if you need advice or support for any of your clients/learners

Runcorn Job Centre – Available Monday to Friday
Tracy Wynne, Disability Employment Advisor
phone: 01928 853642/0782 596 3241

Widnes Job Centre – Available Monday to Friday
Clare Cummings, Disability Employment Advisor
phone: 0300 038 9943

Strawberry Field

The Salvation Army’s goal through Strawberry Field is to help even more people to realise their dreams. Previously Steps to Work was only available to those aged 18-25, but the team recognised the need to increase the portfolio of programmes, which are now open to those of all ages who may have learning difficulties or other barriers to employment.

The Steps to Work programme is evolving to become ‘Steps at Strawberry Field’, now offering increased inclusivity and a wider range of accessible training to more people. Made up of four individually tailored programmes, providing employment skills, work experience and opportunities to volunteer, the new scheme will create opportunities for people across the city.   Alongside Steps to Work, the new scheme will now include ‘Steps to Work lite’, a more condensed version of the original Steps to Work, ‘Steps to Volunteer’, for those who want to take the next step in their volunteering journey and receive a formal qualification, and ‘Recycles’, a hands on programme based at the Recycles project in Liverpool City Centre.

If you know someone who could benefit from these exciting opportunities get in touch through the online enquiry form ‘Contact us, see the programme links above and on our main website at Strawberry Field

Also see programme flyers below:

HBC Community Bridge Builders

Halton Community Bridge Building Team help and support people with disabilities/ mental health issues/ older people and carers to accesses the community. We assist with linking people with activities and involving them in their areas of interest in the local community. The Bridge Building team also supports people in Halton with employment including voluntary opportunities, permitted and paid work.



Employment Support
Our service aims to support its clients to gain knowledge and skills needed for work in an employment setting. We work with clients over a number of weeks to ensure that they are fully equipped with the skills needed to carry out work tasks that are expect of them in their working role. The service is not long term, however we will support someone for as long as it takes for them and the employer to feel comfortable in the client working independently.

For more information please see the attached leaflets:

Contact Information:
Phone: 01515118993
Address: Vine Street Centre, 30A Widnes Road, Widnes, WA86AD

Services supporting ALL young people into employment including young people with SEND

Jobcentre Plus – Youth Employment Coaches





The Youth Employment Coaches focus on young people who may have additional barriers or vulnerabilities which will require a more flexible approach to help them move forward. This can include young people who are care leavers, homeless, chaotic home lives, low qualifications, substance misuse issues, health barriers etc. when they are identified as vulnerable they are not eligible for sanctions.

When a young person aged 18-24 signs up to receive universal credit they typically start on a fast paced 13 week journey towards work where they are expected to be undertaking activities to get into work.

Customers identified as being ready for work will go onto the intensive stream with general work coaches.

Customers that need the most support to be ready will be allocated to a Youth Employment Coach.

A Youth Employment Coach will help them to identify small steps to encourage them to move closer to the labour market and can signpost to other support and services for help tailored to their goals. A Youth Employment Coach can provide 6-12 months support and for those who transition into work, will also have 6 weeks ‘in-work support’.

Youth Employment Coach contact details:

Talent Match – Youth Federation




Talent Match is an intensive mentoring service for 15-29 year olds in Halton who are not in education, employment or training. 18-24 year olds accessing the programme must be at least twelve months NEET – all other referrals will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The programme has access to various types of support and focuses upon the individual using a SELF (Skills/Employment/Life/Future) model see below.

  • SKILLS: Access to training and accredited qualifications e.g. Health and Safety, First Aid, Paediatric First Aid, Food Hygiene etc.
  • EMPLOYMENT: Access to an Employment Mentor for guidance e.g. traineeships, apprenticeships, work and volunteering placements to gain new skills and enhance your CV; Business start up support.
  • LIFE: Therapeutic support and access to counselling; Personal and social development opportunities to work on confidence and motivation;
  • Access to a ‘breaking down barriers fund’, funding for travel, interview clothes, support with childcare etc.
  • FUTURE – Support to help you build a better future; Opportunities to access employment; Post employment advice.

Eligibility Criteria: All referrals are assessed on a case-by-case basis

  • 15-17 year olds – NEET, assessed on a case by case basis
  • 18-24 year olds – NEET for over 12 months
  • 16-17 and 25-29year olds – NEET for 6 months or NEET with multiple barriers

Specialist support available

A wide variety of support that is tailored to the needs of the individual and includes counselling; employability support; basic skills; speech & language; advocacy; IAG; housing support; access to a LLDD mentor; travel training; life skills and money management. Each journey is personalised and not time-bound

For more details see the information leaflet – Talent Match Flyer and the website Youth Federation


For referrals please contact Michelle Maddox
Telephone No: 078581444
Email Address:

The Salvation Army – Individualised Employment Plus Support



Providing information and practical guidance for people looking for work and on their journey into employment within a supportive environment through our Employment Plus programme:


For referrals please contact:

Charlotte Wood – Employment Development Co-ordinator North West
Telephone No: 0743508328

National Careers Service




The National Careers Service (NCS) provides high quality, free and impartial careers advice, information and guidance. The service is available to anyone aged 13+ no matter what stage of their career journey the individual is at. There is a range of online tools, articles, advice and assessments on the website as well as an opportunity to access personalised careers guidance via telephone and web chat support.

See information leaflet: NCS poster

The national team is available for support Tel: 0800 100 900

Adult Learning – Halton Borough Council (HBC)




The Adult Learning Team are delivering some fantastic courses both face to face and online along with FREE Distance Learning courses, in subjects such as Mental Health, Information, Business Administration, Advice & Guidance and Equality & Diversity. Full details of courses available and eligibility criteria can be found in our Adult Learning and Course Prospectus

Referrals to the Adult Learning Team
Tel: 0151 511 7788

Ways to Work – Halton Borough Council (HBC)

Information, advice and guidance service. Help with looking for work, training or self-employment. Practical support with updating CV, application, interviews, job search and job matching to suitable employment opportunities. Help with completing better off calculations and access to funding to start work (certain eligibility criteria applies). Signposting to services to help manage or remove specific barriers.


  • Halton resident (day 1 unemployed/inactive)
  • Aged 16+
  • Right to live and work in the UK

Employer Support (

Tel: 0151 511 7555

Work and Health Programme North West – Halton Borough Council

Key Workers provide 1:1 support with identifying employment needs. They will job match skills to work that is available with employers and help find long-term employment. Support with access to training and signpost to services that can help manage health problems to reduce impact on work. Provide practical support with updating CV, applications, interviews and job search. Better off calculations and access to funding to remove barriers to start work (certain eligibility criteria applies).


  • Halton resident (unemployed/inactive)
  • Aged 18+
  • Right to live and work in the UK
  • Have a goal of returning to work in the next 12 months
  • Early entrant groups

More details about this can be found on the  Work and Health programme website.

Referrals to be identified via Jobcentre Plus Work Coach

Employer Support (

Households into Work – Halton Borough Council (HBC)

Employment Advocates provide 1:1 support to members of the household, helping them tackle and resolve issues which are preventing them from seeking employment and for which they have no or limited access to people or services that might otherwise help them including debt and finance, housing, mental health illness, victim of domestic violence, addiction(s), isolation and disaffection. Until such issues are tackled, finding and sustaining employment is a very unlikely and unrealistic expectation.


  • Halton resident (unemployed/inactive)
  • Aged 16+
  • Right to live and work in the UK
  • The criteria to have a second eligible household member has been relaxed at this time

Tel: 07802 378918

Setting up your own business

Princes Trust Enterprise

This programme is for 18-30 year olds looking to start their business

More information is available on Princes Trust website

Mutually Inclusive


Self-employment and small business ownership is becoming an increasingly popular route to work for people with learning difficulties interested in using their skills and talents to create their own employment opportunities.

We have been supporting people to explore self-employment, social enterprises and co-operative options for over 25 years by developing a range of tools resources and guides to help people on their business journey.

We work with supported employment providers, job coaches, local authorities, colleges, and voluntary sector organisations to include self-employment as part of their support offer.

Rapid Enterprise Development (RED) underpins our enterprise work and by offering a range of business guides, training resources and strategic support packages, it can provide a fast-track route to developing self-employment.

For more information visit the Mutually Inclusive website

Case Study – Simon’s Story video clip



Resources/tools to support young people into employment

National Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) programme website resources

The Preparing for Adulthood programme (PfA)

This programme is delivered by the National Development Team for inclusion (NDTi) and is funded by the Department for Education as part of the Delivering Better Outcomes Together consortium.

The partnership brings together a wide range of expertise and experience of working with young people and families, at a local and national level and across government, to support young people into adulthood with paid employment, good health, independent living options and friends, relationships and community

Transition to employment toolkit launched by Ambitious about Autism and the Autism Education Trust

Ambitious about Autism and The Autism Education Trust have launched a new employment toolkit to support autistic young people into the job market.

The Transition to Employment toolkit is free to download and aims to prevent autistic young people falling out of education, employment or training when they leave school.

The toolkit is not just for young autistic people to use, but also for careers professionals and employers, to help them better understand the needs and skills of young autistic people and support them into further education or work.

Sections of the toolkit can be easily downloaded and edited and are designed to be used flexibly.

More information is available on Ambitious about Autism website

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