If you have Down’s syndrome and want to find work opportunities, register on to the WorkFit programme below.
Work means different things to different people. Some people want a paid job; some people want to do voluntary or unpaid work.
WorkFit staff will listen to your hopes and ambitions and can help to you to be more independent, get new skills, meet new people, earn money, and feel proud of yourself.
See below to find more information on your options.
You will be taken on by an employer as a paid employee. You will have a contract of employment and employment rights.
- Encourages independence
- Get new skills related to adult social life
- Wider circle of friends
- Gain even more confidence
To find out how paid work will affect your benefits click here.
What support will I get?
WorkFit will make sure that the job fits your personal requirements and support needs, and offers progression through training.
We will put you in touch with the right employment support agency and/or employer.
If you want to find some paid work, register on to the WorkFit Project. If you need help, ask your carer/parent.
The employer will train you to learn specific skills for a specific job. You must know what type/area of work you want to do. Try doing some volunteering or work placements to get more ideas about the type/ area of work you want to do.
- Receive training
- Start to get skills for a specific job
To find out how an apprenticeship will affect your benefits click here.
What support will I get?
WorkFit will make sure that your training fits your personal requirements and support needs, and offers the skills needed for the job.
We will make sure that the apprenticeship or internship fits your personal requirements and support needs, and that you are fully supported at work. We will be with you at all stages and will continue to support you when you start your apprenticeship or internship
If you want to find apprenticeship jobs, register on to the WorkFit Programme. If you need help, ask your carer/parent.
It is a great way to get some real life work experience of the work you want to do while you are at school or college. It usually lasts between 6-12 weeks.
- Learn about the world of work
- Get to experience a range of different work options
- Try a work area before making a commitment to that type of work
- Build your skills and get new references
To find out how work experience will affect your benefits click here.
What support will I get?
WorkFit will make sure that the work experience fits your personal requirements and support needs, and that you are fully supported at work by a buddy. We will be with you at all stages and will continue to support you throughout your work experience placement.
If you want to find some work experience, register on to the WorkFit Project. If you need help, ask your carer/parent.
Please note that WorkFit supports short term (up to 12 weeks) work experience placements with commercial organisations as we believe that our candidates should be paid for their contribution to a private sector company after that time. With public or third sector organisations it can be beneficial to arrange longer term placements if all parties are in agreement.
You choose to give your free time to help other people without getting paid for it. You can volunteer with any kind of charities.
- Learn New Skills
- Practise the skills you have
- Be more confident
- Show employers you can keep regular hours and stay committed to a task
- Meet new people and get references
- Help you get job
Volunteering is also a great way for you to:
- Do something you enjoy
- Stay active and healthy
- Help raise the profile of people with Down’s syndrome in your community
- Find new interests or work you enjoy
To find out how volunteering will affect your benefits click here.
What support will I get?
WorkFit will make sure that the volunteering placement fits your personal requirements and support needs, and that you are fully supported at work by a buddy. We will be with you at all stages and will continue to support you throughout your placement.
If you want to find some voluntary work, register on to the WorkFit Project. If you need help, ask your carer/parent.
Daniel had some experience working in a café environment, but felt he would like to try something else. Over the course of the next 2 meetings (and several phone calls) Daniel expressed a desire to work in his local library. He was a regular visitor to the library and enjoyed his time there doing his work on the computers or borrowing his favourite books and DVD’s. He already knew some of the library staff who seemed very kind and welcoming.
We discussed the various potential roles at the library and Daniel felt he had so much to offer as an employee. Daniel is a very polite young man who takes great pride in organising his many files in his home filing systems. He is also a great communicator and loves to engage with the general public.
A meeting between the library staff, Daniel was organised. It was an opportunity for the staff to meet Daniel properly and explain the role in more detail including all the various tasks involved. Daniel really enjoyed this experience and it was agreed that he would start work the following week.
Few weeks later, Daniel attended his first day and he looked very smart and was ready to begin his new placement. He attends the library with his support worker who helps him learn and master his new tasks. Daniel has a variety of different tasks at the library such as sorting out books and DVDs to put back on the shelves, cutting out pictures for the children’s group to colour in, helping put up library display stands, shredding old paper and photocopying.
Daniel is learning new skills and is really enjoying his work experience at Caerphilly library. Daniel enjoys spending time with the library team.
My name is Tim I am 23 years old and I live in Cheshire. I work for Timpson ltd at their head office in Wythenshawe. My work includes:
- Working at the Reception
- Working in the post room
- Working in key cutting department
- Making teas and coffees for the staff
- Addressing the envelopes
- Taking messages
I need to wear smart clothes be punctual and work hard.
Best thing about Timpson is the people that who work there and help if I stuck on anything. My boss is Les, we call him the “Podmaster.”
We go out on staff socials like to Belle vue dog track it brilliant. Timpson are a very good company, they really look after their staff, there is a gym where I work out after work before I go home. There is also a pool table and a table tennis table to play on at lunch break.
I get paid. It is great. I now have my own bank account and card. I can save money and spend money. The first thing I did was take some money out using my card and brought a round of drinks for my family and friends.
My name is Emily. I work for DEFRA in Yorkshire as part of the facilities team. I am part of the WorkFit programme.
I started at DEFRA on a six week trial in April. After my trial period I have been given a one year fixed contract which I started in May. I work for four hours a week and also attend college for 3 days and have a second job working in a library, one afternoon per week.
My job in Facilities includes filling the fridges in the five kitchens with milk, post opening duties, first aid supplies checks, room booking approvals, printing train tickets, franking outgoing mail and reception duties.
I find my job interesting because it gives me the chance to meet new people. Working on reception has helped me with my confidence. I can ask people to sign in, I can ask them to read the health and safety information and I am able to show them where to go if the fire alarm sounds. I have a timetable with all my tasks and am now able to do the majority of my tasks on my own. I like working with the facilities team because they are all really nice and I like working in a team.
As I mentioned before, I have a timetable with all my tasks listed and this helps me remember my duties for my morning ahead. I have a tick sheet so I can tick off which kitchen I have put milk away in and a map so I remember all the kitchens that have been numbered to help me. I can read and write but pictures do help me. My team have helped me by labelling items up around the office with picture diagrams, for example all the stationery drawers have pictures of what is inside so I can easily see.
I recently went to London with my mum to be in the audience of Loose Women. I met Stacey Solomon, Jonny Vegas (who I love watching in Benidorm) and Martin Kemp! We stayed overnight in a hotel and ate fish and chips which are my favourite.
I would most like to have dinner with Little Mix because I love their music. I love listening to music with my best friend and dancing. I also like to sing too but I always get told to keep it down!
Holiday Inn Express has an IHG Academy which offers people with learning disabilities work-based learning opportunities with a City & Guilds NVQ Level 1 in Hospitality.
The NVQ course is tailored to the needs of people with learning disabilities and has put in place different ways for the learners to show their skills and abilities to help them finish their NVQ course.
Sean is part of the IGH Academy programme as a Breakfast Assistant.
Sean says “I like the job and the staff at the Holiday Inn and look forward to going there regularly”.
Sean’s colleagues were keen to express their views about the programme: “Our experience to date has been amazing! To be able to offer Sean the chance to gain valuable work experience whilst working towards an NVQ fills us all with pride. He has fitted into the team really well and is pleasure to work with. He brings a smile to our faces and makes mornings fun! We are all looking forward to guiding Sean through this year”- Hotel Manager