Work Choice is a government-supported voluntary programme which provides disabled people with specialised support to find employment or keep a job once they have started work.
We help clients to identify their needs and support them to become job-ready and find the right role. We then continue with in-work support to help them stay in their job long-term.
‘I was unemployed for 10 years… I feel good now because the job is right for me. I am now a lot more independent and confident… Having the security of a job, I can plan my life much better.’
The programme is available throughout the UK, with Leonard Cheshire Disability delivering in the highlands and islands of Scotland, and across London. Clients have access to an employment advisor who offers one-to-one support with:
- training and skills development
- identifying the right job
- confidence building
- CV writing and job applications
- interview and job coaching
- access to appropriate employers and job vacancies
- arranging Access to Work support
- helping to move from benefits into work
In 2015-16, we supported 98 disabled people into employment.
- 86% of clients who responded to our survey feel their motivation to get a job has increased since receiving support from Work Choice.
- 91% of clients feel their Work Choice experience has increased their chances of getting a job.
- 82% of clients feel their Work Choice experience helped them to understand that their disability is not a barrier to getting a job.
- 95% of clients feel their Work Choice experience has strengthened their CV.
‘I decided to get support from Leonard Cheshire because I was looking for a job for five years on my own and not getting anywhere.
‘Not having qualifications and struggling with my reading and writing, I was miserable and depressed, and this affected my family.
‘I have had support with job searching on the computer, filling out application forms and my advisor speaks to employers on my behalf. I have attended job clubs, work-based training and interviews.
‘I felt a bit nervous when I first started. I started to feel a lot more confident and happier, knowing my advisor was there to support me.
‘Through Leonard Cheshire, I was able to find a job working at a cosmetics factory in Chingford. This has made me a lot more confident and independent, and has improved my family life because I am no longer under my mum’s feet.
‘I am also able to contribute towards the family’s finances. I feel a lot healthier because I am walking to work now.
‘I feel a lot more confident that I will be able to move on from my present job, now that I have new skills and experience. This is something that would not have happened before. Being out of work, I had no confidence and little skills and experience.’
If you would like support from Leonard Cheshire Disability, ask the disability employment advisor at your local Jobcentre Plus to refer you to us.
This project is part-financed by the European Union. There is more information about Work Choice, including who to talk to if you think you might qualify, on the gov.uk website.