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Flourishing Communities,
Healthier Lives

Glasgow Supported Employment Service Launches Improving Modern Apprenticeship Programme


Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership’s (HSCP) Glasgow Supported Employment Service has been supporting people with autism and / or learning disabilities into paid work for the past 12 years. Recently, the team secured additional funding from the Scottish Government’s Young Person’s Guarantee to develop and deliver in partnership with other Glasgow City Council services a new supported work experience programme called ‘Improving Modern Apprenticeships Programme’ (IMAP). The programme is designed to improve the transition into Modern Apprenticeships for young people with autistic spectrum conditions. 

IMAP will work directly with young people with autism and participating Council services will be directly supported by a specialist job coach throughout their period of work experience. The job coach and young person will work together to identify skills, abilities and aspirations through a process known as ‘vocational profiling’. The young person will then be matched to a work experience placement that matches aspirations where they can be supported to build their skills and experience before applying for a Modern Apprenticeship. Participating services will be fully involved from the start, and all staff will be eligible to receive autism awareness training prior to the young person starting. The job coach will agree a work plan with participating services covering key tasks required to be undertaken.

Angie Black, Service Manager for our HSCP’s Glasgow Supported Employment Service said: “I’m delighted that the additional funding offers us the opportunity to develop a service in partnership with Council colleagues using the best practice we’ve already learned from delivering Project Search in the city. This funding allows us to support even more people in Glasgow and make a real difference to those on the autism spectrum”.

A great example of partnership working is the support provided to Martin Byrnes.  Martin applied for and secured a Modern Apprenticeship within our HSCP’s Business Development Admin Team at Commonwealth House in 2019. The job coach and Martin’s managers established a brilliant relationship from the outset, and it was very clear that the team wanted to support Martin in whatever way they could. The job coach supported Martin to settle in and delivered Autism Awareness training to his team. The managers and job coach communicated frequently about Martin’s progress and his support needs, which enabled a positive working environment where Martin thrived. 

Martin said: “'Since starting my Modern Apprenticeship everything in my life has changed. When I reflect upon my life, it’s incredible to see what I’ve become”.

Martin worked hard and was successful in securing a permanent post within the Business Development Admin Team in September 2021.

People with autism or learning disabilities have the same aspirations in life as anyone else, such as to live independently, have supportive friends and family and have a rewarding job. However, as the employment rate statistics show, the aspiration of real sustained employment is unfulfilled for many. They remain among the most excluded groups of people in the current labour market. 

Get in touch
Would you like to support this programme by giving a young person with autism the opportunity to gain valuable supported work experience in your team?  Do you know a young person who would benefit from this programme? If you’re a manager and are interested, please get in touch and find out how a job coach could support you through the process:

Glasgow Supported Employment Service
Phone 0141 287 6713

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