Wiltshire Employment Support Team (WEST)

Back to Support for those with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities
Who we are
We can help you
Who is eligible?
Who can refer?
Contact us
Success Stories
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Who we are

Wiltshire Employment Support Team, better known as WEST is a supported employment service for young people and adults with special educational needs and disabilities, including autism. We aim to support our customers to find and keep various levels of paid employment.

To do this we look at the different types of job options and what is realistic, including things like:

  • what jobs are available
  • travel implications
  • work ethic
  • skills and interests
  • working hours
  • previous experience.

WEST forms part of a wider team called Employment and Community Skills.

WEST applies a person-centred, yet realistic approach, working with people to enable stability in the job with the planned aspiration for you to do this independently.

We can help you

  • identify your skills and strengths
  • look at jobs that are realistic for you
  • identify your training needs and signpost you to where you can get help with that
  • look for jobs, fill in application forms, put together a CV
  • prepare for and support you at interviews
  • with appropriate job coaching that will help you start work and become part of the team
  • by regularly reviewing progress with you and your employer for up to 18 months after starting your job.

When WEST receives a suitable referral, you will be allocated to a job coach who will meet with you to register you to our service. They will ask you about your experience and expertise to help highlight further skills you may need for work, we call this profiling.

Your job coach will then support you to begin applying for jobs and prepare for interview, as well as approach employers on your behalf. We hope that you get offered a job and will do everything we can to support that.

You will actively look for paid work and need to be committed to your job searching. There will be responsibilities expected of you and the job coach, these will be reviewed regularly.

We cannot take responsibility for any decisions relating to benefits, but we can advise you on how to get information of how working could affect any benefits.

Should a job be found, and you are successful at interview, you will be supported by your job coach to start work. We can offer you on the job support if you need it. This will be until you and your new employer feel confident in the workplace and are being supported by them to carry on independently. We will continue to review how you are getting on and support you in sustaining your job.

Who is eligible?

You can be referred to WEST if you;

  • live in Wiltshire (local authority boundary area)
  • are motivated and committed to moving into work
  • are not supported by another employment agency
  • provide your National Insurance Number
  • have the required documents to prove you can work in the UK.

It then depends on who is referring you;

SEND, children and young people referrals

  • Young people 14 to 25 years of age with a My Plan or Statement of Special Education Need (SEN) or previously held a statement
  • Young people with Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) not meeting the above criteria and between 16 and 25 years of age.

Adult Care and Community Team for People with Learning Disabilities referrals

  • In all cases approval is required before making the referral:
  • 18 years of age and above
  • Has an assessed eligible need for this service (Care Act 2014)
  • Identified under the following Reported Health Conditions
  • PI: Long term health condition – physical (acquired physical injury)
  • N: Long term health condition – neurological (Stroke, Parkinson’s, Motor Neurone Disease, Acquired Brain Injury)
  • SI:  Sensory Impairment (visually impaired, hearing impaired)
  • LD: Learning, development or intellectual disability
  • ASC: Learning, development or intellectual disability (Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome/High Functioning Autism).

In most cases we are funded to provide services via social care or SEND services provided by Wiltshire Council.

  • If you are 16 to 25 years old, depending on the circumstances, we can, on occasion take a self-referral if you are on the autistic spectrum, including Asperger’s and do not access any services from Wiltshire Council.
  • This is on a case by case discretionary basis, and not always possible.

Who can refer?

  • Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) Worker
  • Wiltshire College Tutor or careers guidance
  • Wiltshire Supported Internships Job Coach
  • Social Worker
  • Wiltshire Specialist School Teacher
  • Adult Autism Diagnostic Service
  • Wiltshire Council; Social care advice and Information 0300 456 0111
  • Adult Care and Community Team for People with Learning Disabilities (CTPLD)
  • Looked After Children (LAC).

Contact details

For more information about these services call the team on: 01225 718004 or email west.cc@wiltshire.gov.uk

Website: www.wiltshire.gov.uk/local-offer-west

Success Stories

Meet Jamiethumbnail of 03 Jamie Edwards WEST Case Study WSI and apprenticeship

Meet Josiethumbnail of 62 Josephine Bennett Case Study WEST Employment 27.02.20

Meet Ethanthumbnail of 31 Ethan Hillard WEST Case Study WSI to full time work

Meet Danielthumbnail of 16 Dan Workman WEST Case Study McDonalds progression