Special educational needs and disabilities: applying for apprenticeships

  • Last updated 25 Jul 2016


Having a special educational need (SEN) or a disability should not prevent you from applying for apprenticeships.

The “About You” section in your application is a chance to tell people about your strengths and skills. You should include your hobbies, interests and achievements: include ways in which managing your disability or SEN has given you additional strengths, for example greater determination or the ability to take initiative.

All employers should have fair and equal selection processes, but you might want to look out for signs that an organisation has a particularly positive attitude towards recruiting disabled apprentices.

The disability symbol is awarded by Jobcentre Plus to organisations that have made positive commitments towards employing disabled people.

Jobcentre Plus publishes leaflets about the symbol and the commitments that employers need to make in order to display it. You’ll see the symbol (two ticks and the words “positive about disabled people”) displayed on apprenticeship adverts and application forms.

It may also be possible to find out the attitude of an employer by looking at the general culture of the organisation. You can sometimes get a feeling about this by looking at the messages in its brochures, equal opportunity policies and annual reports.

As part of your research, it also might be worth asking whether they have employed any disabled apprentices before, whether you would have a work-based mentor, and what are the opportunities for you afterwards within the company.

Read More

Special educational needs: careers advice 

Special educational needs: apprenticeship funding

Taskforce to improve apprenticeship accessibility


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