Start your career

Where to start

Young people with disabilities have the same rights as others when you are looking for employment.

By law, employers must treat everyone equally and make reasonable adjustments for people with disabilities in their workplace.

What route to take 

Taking some time to find out all you can about the route you want to take is an excellent way to start.

There are opportunities to help you find work through various routes:

  • traineeships
  • apprenticeships
  • supported internships
  • kickstart scheme 
  • volunteering
  • self employment

You will need a curriculum vitae (CV) to help you get the role you want. Your school will help you with this. Your CV should have:

  • your contact details,
  • your skills and abilities
  • your education
  • work experience
  • hobbies and interests
  • references

Further education

When you are 16 to 24, you can study at school, in further education or at a sixth-form college.

What you can study

Depending on the college, you can study for qualifications like: 

  • A-levels
  • Foundation degrees
  • Business and Technology Education Council awards (BTECs)
  • National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs)
  • GCSEs

Most schools in Lincolnshire provide a sixth form or a joint sixth form.  You can continue your studies in school working towards your A-levels or other qualifications. 

Sixth form means one or two more years in a school setting. You may choose to go to college instead.

Courses for people with learning disabilities

Some colleges have courses to help young people with learning disabilities become more independent. The course can help you get a job when you leave.

College and sixth form college

When you choose a college, you’ll need to think about:

  • what you want to study
  • what help you may need to study 
  • any facilities you may need to help you get around

You can use our online directory to:

Funding for college

Most courses are free. You may be able to get financial help with your day-to-day living costs and fees for courses you have to pay for.

Education, Health and Care plans

Your school will send your Education, Health and Care plan, if you have one, to your college.


Traineeships are short, flexible courses for 16-24 year olds.

They are to help young people develop and learn essential skills to help find a career.

You won’t get paid but it can help to improve:

  • your confidence
  • skills
  • qualifications
  • work experience

You can apply if you are:

  • eligible to work in England
  • unemployed with no work experience

You will get:

  • help with getting work, including writing a CV
  • a work placement of 70 hours or more
  • help with the skills you'll need for an apprenticeship
  • a job interview of feedback from an employer
  • help with maths and English (if you need it)


Search for current traineeship vacancies.

Personal development programmes

Prince's Trust deliver their team programme across different sites in Lincolnshire.

What it is

A 12-week personal programme for 16-25 year old, getting young people into employment.

Prince's Trust also run the "get into retail" initiative with Lincolnshire Coop

Supported internships

Supported internships are for young people with learning difficulties or learning disabilities, who want to get a job and need extra support.

Supported internships are unpaid and last for at least six months, and if possible you will move into paid employment at the end of the programme.

To be eligible you need:

  • statement of special educational needs and disabilities
  • learning difficulty assessment
  • education, health, and care plan

They support employers by:

  • working with you to develop task independence
  • supporting your integration into the workplace
  • helping to understand your needs
  • advising on workplace adjustments
  • helping to understand what support is available to them

Most of your time is spent at the employer's premises. You are expected to follow real job conditions, including time keeping, dress code and workplace conduct.

Find out more about supported internships.

For details about supported internships in Lincolnshire, contact your local college, post 16 provider or visit the Young People's Learning Provision website.

Choice's College (NHS)

Choices College is a specialist NHS college working across Lincolnshire to provide work experience and supported internships to 16-24 year-olds with an EHCP. Both within healthcare and private businesses, we offer supported work environments, providing up to a year of work experience for our students, as well as NCFE educational qualifications. Every placement is bespoke, which means that we match each student as closely as possible to their chosen field, whether within healthcare or outside.

Our work experience programme is for under 18s whilst they are at school or college. Over six weeks, students spend half a day in the setting of their choice, fully supported by college staff and workplace mentors. They are designed as a taster for a variety of careers and for undertaking longer college programmes.

Supported internships are year-long courses, which include up to four days a week on work placement and one day at college. The internship typically comprises three placements, lasting 10-12 weeks each, throughout the academic year. This gives students a long-term opportunity to try a variety of careers. All aspects of the internships include full support based on individual needs.


An apprenticeship helps to learn on the job. Young people can earn a wage and study at the same time.

When you complete an apprenticeship, you gain experience and qualifications.

You can also find apprenticeships as options or parts of the courses at:

  • colleges
  • sixth forms
  • universities

If you do an apprenticeship, you will need to do Maths and English too. If you have an EHC plan, you can discuss this with your employer or training provider.

How to find an apprenticeship

Search for an apprenticeship on the apprenticeship database

Or contact the National Apprenticeship helpdesk on 0800 015 0400

For a list of all apprenticeships available within the council, visit our jobs website.

Get more advice on apprenticeships:


Volunteering is a chance to learn new skills and gain experience. It helps you to meet others and get used to working with colleagues or talking to people.

Although voluntary work is unpaid, it has many benefits:

  • improve your employability skills
  • build your work experience
  • improve your confidence
  • make a difference
  • meet new people
  • be part of a community
  • take on a challenge
  • improve your CV

You can choose somewhere you would like to work, and choose what days and times you would like to volunteer. Good places to start are local charity shops and ventures, including:

  • soup kitchens
  • animal shelters
  • archaeological and historical projects
  • countryside access
  • Lincolnshire chalk streams project
  • community hub libraries
  • children centres

Find out more at:


Self employment means working for yourself.

Starting a business can mean earning money and building skills in a way that fits your needs and lifestyle.

Being self employed means:

  • you run a business for yourself
  • you have several customers at the same time
  • you can decide how, where and when you do your work
  • you cal sell goods or services to make a profit

There are downsides too:

  • lack of employee benefits, like sick pay and holiday pay
  • possible long working hours
  • responsibility for your own tax returns
  • unpredictable finances

You must follow specific rules on running and naming your business.

Find more information and advice:

The Prince's Trust run a self-employment scheme in Lincolnshire, called Explore Enterprise. It is for 18-30 year olds who are thinking about self employment.

You will get:

  • a two-day online workshop, covering all aspects of setting up and running a business
  • two more days of support
  • one to one planning meetings with a business adviser
  • access to grants and funding
  • two years of support from an experienced volunteer once the business launches

Support services

Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership

The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (GLLEP) holds monthly online jobs and career fairs.  

Visiting on the day gives you the opportunity to: 

  • talk directly to employers 
  • chat to training organisations 
  • seek advice about job hunting from support services 

If you are unable to make the day, you can access video resources and exhibition online. You will have the opportunity to send emails to the organisations. 

The GLLEP has videos to help you find out what job-ready skills you need. These include: 

  • help and advice on personal branding 
  • how to prepare for an interview 
  • how to create a good application 

World of work 

World of Work will tell you all you need to know about working in Lincolnshire. 

If you are looking for inspiration and want to find a job that fits your personality, try the Lincolnshire career profiler.

Explore the wide range of local employers to discover the variety of roles they offer. 

All about careers 

All About Careers is a great way to find out what is involved in all areas of work. It can help if you are:

  • a school-leaver
  • a graduate
  • thinking about which exams to study for at school

Explore a range of careers to find out what is involved, what options you would have to study further. You can make informed decisions with advice about: 

  • applying for jobs or higher education 
  • work experience 
  • apprenticeships  

The National Careers Service 

For advice, guidance and information, visit the National Careers Service. It can help you make an informed choice about your career.  

Find out what a job involves whether you are looking to get started or searching for a change of direction. 

You can speak to an advisor on 0800 100 900 or use their web chat to talk to someone.  

Find out how to: 

  • write a CV 
  • ideas for further study or online learning 
  • checking your personal and work skills to help you find your dream job


To find out about careers closer to home, visit the 2aspire website.

It has information about: 

  • local job fairs showcasing the range of opportunities in Lincolnshire 
  • tips on job-hunting 
  • how volunteering can help you gain life experience and new skills 

Access to Work

You can request financial support if you have a disability, a physical or mental health condition affecting your chances of finding a job or staying in work.

Access to Work will not provide the support that the employer should already be giving.

An Access to Work grant can pay for:

  • special equipment you may need
  • getting to and from work.

You might not be able to get the support if you are receiving certain benefits.

Help with your payslip

You can find information about your payslip, tax codes and a P45, visit the Money Advice Service website.