Across 2017/2018 we are thrilled to be able to provide two new employment programmes alongside our existing employment support service. Please find more information relating to these projects below:

Employed by Me

This 12-month project, funded by the Natwest Skills & Opportunities Fund, will focus on supporting adults (aged 18+) with autism across Leeds and Bradford to explore the possibility of pursuing self-employment.

We will be working with Business Services Leeds to help autistic adults to learn more about what it means to be self-employed. You will be supported in group workshops and in 1-1 sessions to decide whether self employment might be right for you, and if it is, to start planning how you can achieve this.

By looking at the things you are good at you can be supported to explore whether these activities could be used to help others. You will work with staff to create a business plan and to start develop- ing goods/services for which others would be happy to pay.

This programme will start with a non-pressured half day group workshop and will continue with weekly full day group workshops and monthly 1-1 coaching sessions. In these you will have the opportunity to work with our staff members on developing your employment skills. Our staff mem- bers will facilitate workshops around the topics that the group raise and will provide you with the opportunity to develop things like social skills, confidence, managing finances and IT skills.

Our Employed by Me programme will be running across the year in Bradford on a Tuesday, and Leeds on a Friday, all day (10.15 – 3.00).

For more information or to make a referral, please contact George Green on tel: 07962 536851 or email: george.green@specialistautismservices.org or our employment department on 01274 789 789 or email: employment@specialistautismservices.org .

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Leeds Autism Apprenticeships Programme

Over the next 12 months, Specialist Autism Services is working in partnership with Leeds City Council to support adults (aged 18+) with autism to explore apprenticeship opportunities across the city. We will work with you to find out what you are interested in and what you are good at so that you can pursue an apprenticeship in an industry that you will enjoy.

Apprenticeships give aspiring job seekers the opportunity for real world work experience and are a great way to learn practical skills that help long term career prospects. They also give you a chance to show employers your skills and abilities, whilst earning a wage.

We are providing an 8 week programme of half day workshops that will support you to develop the skills you might need to apply for and succeed in an apprenticeship. These group sessions will be “member-led” which means they will be tailored to what the group wants to focus on next.

Alongside this we will also be providing a drop-in Apprenticeship Support Point where you will have the opportunity to further develop your skills and explore apprenticeship opportunities. We also have availability for 1-1 sessions where a member of staff can work with you in more depth around apprenticeships, employment skills and your personal goals.

We are currently accepting referrals for this project – these can be self-referrals or referrals on your behalf from your parents/carers, Jobcentre staff or other professionals.

Our 8 week social skills programme and Apprenticeship Support Point will operate on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the year, please contact us for start dates.

For more information or to make a referral, please contact Wil Quick on tel: 07962 536928 or email: wil.quick@specialistautismservices.org or our employment department on 01274 789 789 or email: employment@specialistautismservices.org

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Can you offer an apprenticeship?

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Moving Towards Work

Specialist Autism Services provide support for adults with Autism Spectrum Conditions across West Yorkshire and beyond. We support our members to develop social skills and independence through providing workshops, outreach support, employment support and counselling.

What is the Specialist Autism Services Moving Towards Workscheme?

Specialist Autism Services has received funding from the Department for Work and Pensions to support adults with an Autism Spectrum Condition who may be considering employment, but who need to build up their skills or confidence first.
Individuals will be invited to join relaxed discussion and activity based workshops on either a Wednesday afternoon in Leeds or Friday afternoon in Bradford. Our staff will work with you to explore your aims and think about what steps you need to take to help you move towards work. Some of the sessions are based around helping people with autism develop their social skills and others will look at how to find a job and stay in it.
We can support you to develop your IT skills and create an employability toolkit of resources including a CV and a cover letter template. Staff can help you develop your confidence to use the telephone and improve your interview skills and have taster sessions in a chosen workplace. Staff can also support you to apply for voluntary/work opportunities and attend interviews. Nobody is pressured to get more involved than they want to. You can contribute as much or as little as you feel comfortable.

How do I join the Moving Towards Work project?

Individuals joining the scheme must be referred by an advisor at Job Centre Plus. You must be over 18, have a diagnosis of autism and live in the Bradford or Leeds districts.

Where and when do the Moving Towards Work workshops happen?

Leeds: Great Northern House, Junction 7 Business Park, Leeds LS10 3DQ.
Every Wednesday 12.30 -14.30 and 15.00 -17.00hrs.
Bradford: Merchants House (3rdFloor), 19 Peckover Street, Bradford BD1 5BD.
Every Friday 12.30 -14.30 and 15.00 -17.00hrs.

For further information: Email: employment@specialistautismservices.org or Phone John Bedford on 07434 708 837 or the Employment Team on 01274 789 789.

“SAS support is interesting and challenging – the workshops have made me think about how I act. SAS workshops are a safe, friendly environment.”
“At SAS, I have learned to communicate better with people that some have the same problem as me. Also I learned to have a new found respect for my disability and other people who have the same or similar ones.”
“I enjoyed coming to the group and will miss the staff. Thank you for the help and understanding how work is for people with autism”

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