There are some services and programmes in Essex that support adults with learning disabilities and autism to find paid employment that matches their skills and interests.

For example, ECL and Get Set for Work – Get Set UK offer an Inclusive Employment service that provides skills development, work experience and on-the-job coaching. Get Set UK also offer employers support to employ people with a learning disability and/or neurodiverse needs. Essex County Council has a targeted employment team to support young people into work, also the Meaningful Lives Matter team offer some employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities and autism.

A number of the day opportunity providers also offer pathways to employment with micro enterprise schemes and learning opportunities we encourage you to approach them and ask what they do.

Here you will also find some information about Permitted Employment which allows people who claim benefits to also experience work.

Together Matters have produced a guide to help people with a learning disability who want to find employment.

Get Set For Work - Inclusive Employment offer in Essex

Get Set For Work - Inclusive Employment offer in Essex

Get Set for Work is a new inclusive support service delivered by Get Set UK for Essex County Council.

The programme brings new support services to adults with a learning disability and/or neurodiverse needs, living in Essex.

Working alongside Essex County Council and in partnership with ECL Inclusive Employment, Get Set for Work focuses on 3 key support services:

Employers looking to become more inclusive >

Employees struggling at work >

Individuals facing barriers to employment >


ECL - Inclusive Employment

For adults with learning disabilities and Autism with ambitions of gaining paid work, the Inclusive Employment programme will enhance the opportunities available to you; by identifying possible employers, developing CVs, arranging and mediating interviews, offering skills development, work experience and on-the-job coaching.

Permitted work factsheet

Permitted work can help you learn new skills, build your confidence and start thinking about types of work you could do.
If you have a disability, illness, or health condition you may be able to do some work and keep your payments and National Insurance credits for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).


Essex County Council - Essex Local Offer - Help finding work

Essex County Council’s NEW Local Offer website has information for our families caring for under 25 years.
‘The Local Offer gives information about support available in Essex for children and young people aged between 0 to 25, with Special Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
This part of the website offers information about helping young people to find work.
ECC employment report

Essex County Council - Employment Experiences

Essex County Council commissioned a research project in 2021 into employment for people with a learning disability and autistic people in Essex. The ECC Research and Citizens Insight team spoke with people with lived experience, their families and employers to research the needs, motivations and barriers to employment. There is also a video from Revealing Reality that accompanies the report.

ECC – Employment experiences of those with LD/A on Vimeo

ACL - Adult Education Courses and Apprenticeships in Essex

ACL – Adult Education Courses and Apprenticeships in Essex offer work based training courses to support adults into the workplace.

ACL - Virtual Career s Event

ACL have gathered information from other organisations who support people with their employment choices.

Meaningful Lives Essex: Meet Emily, a data processor at ECC

The Meaningful Lives programme has helped Emily secure her first job. Her family was thrilled to find out she’d secured a position as a data processor at Essex County Council! Whilst in her new role, she’s transitioned from a quiet individual to a happy and confident member of the team. She feels happy, fulfilled and is more active outside of work, too.
A video produced by Essex County Council – Meaningful Lives Matter.
targeted employment

Targeted Employment - Pathways to Employment

Essex County Council describes this as.. ‘A Guide for parents/professionals of young people with additional needs who aspire to work.’


Together Matters - How to be part of the world of work.

‘How to be part of the world of work’ is an additional section for the very popular Thinking Ahead Guide written by Christine Towers from Together Matters.

mlm work

Meaningful Lives Essex - Craig cooks up a storm

This video was produced by Essex County Council to highlight achievements of the Targeted Employment Team and Commissioning Teams to help people with disabilities get into work.

‘The Targeted Employment Team and Adults Disability Commissioning Team developed a Learning Disabilities and Autism Grant, enabling five businesses in Essex to employ people with additional needs. Craig secured a spot at ROK Kitchen, where he’s developed team working and social skills, and also learned to cook for himself and his family.’