Employment support service

We can help if you're

aged 18+ 
and living in Hertfordshire

currently registered unemployed

diagnosed or undiagnosed with a disability or challenge

Alternatively, email us or call 01992 556825.

Why choose us?

  • Personalised support from an employment advisor, job coach or mentor

  • Secure long-term work - you may have access our support for a set period or without an upper limit

  • Relevant advice and support from our partner organisations based on your skillset and goals

  • Employers work with us to offer you interview practice, work tasters, job placements, and paid work

  • We're inclusive and support individuals facing barriers to secure sustainable work, education or training

  • It's free!

 


Who we work with

We collaborate with partner organisations and many local employers across Hertfordshire to collectively deliver the Employment Support Service.

Our partner organisations

sunnyside SPS logos

SHC logo
create community - creating futures together logo

clp logo

hacro - for the care and rehabilitation of offenders logo

cvsbeh logo

hertfordshire local enterprise partnership logo

Local employers include

Computacenter logo

watford FC badge

herts fullstop logo

mcmullen brewing and pubs 1827 logo

ringway logo

XMA logo

HLC - Excellence in education catering logo

 

 


Our projects in detail

Please find below details on our different employment support projects and the funding bodies that make each one possible.

The Road to Employment Project

Funded by UK Government

Who can apply?
Our services are available to people who:

  • are aged 19+
  • live in Hertfordshire and
  • are unemployed or economically inactive. 

You do not need to be referred; you can apply directly or apply on someone’s behalf if they are happy for you to do so.

What we do
The Road to Employment Project is fully-funded by the UK Government Shared Prosperity Fund. It is delivered by districts across Hertfordshire (excluding North Hertfordshire and East Hertfordshire). It is centrally managed by the Hertfordshire LEP, in partnership with Step2Skills.

The project is focussed on helping unemployed residents in Hertfordshire who have a diagnosed or undiagnosed disability or barrier(s) such as neurodiversity, mental health conditions, sensory needs or learning and physical disabilities into employment, education or training.

How we can help you
Our mentors will help you to develop the skills to feel confident in applying for jobs, going to work, becoming self-employed and/or provide relevant training or education opportunities.

How the team works with you

You will be assigned a mentor. You can read more about the team who work on the Employment Support projects.

What your journey with us will look like
Once you have joined the project you will be allocated a mentor who will help get you ready for your next steps. They will help and support you with finding the right courses to upskill before you look for work.

Your mentor will arrange appointments which work for you. You will discuss what you want to achieve and will then work together towards those goals.

The meetings between yourself and your mentor are then arranged as and when required. Some participants are happy to have less contact whereas some participants require more support. 

How long can you stay on the programme?

There is no limit on the time that you can stay on this programme. The project runs until 2025. It is however important that the participant achieves outcomes. These outcomes could include securing a volunteering role, life skills, training or gaining a qualification. 

A recent Road to Employment journey, as told by a mentor

'J is a lovely lady from the North Herts area.  She joined the project in September and has been enjoying her journey thus far. 

J suffers from her mental health in the form of depression and anxiety and has done so for many years.  When I first started working with J she was low in mood, finding it difficult to get jobs done round the home.  On speaking to J it was decided to target her health and wellbeing first and then to look at her IT skills.

It is pleasing to note that J has completed her first course on Health and Wellbeing and really enjoyed the course and is looking forward to completing the second part.  J was really happy when I saw her at the end of the course stating that “she found it really helpful and has some good tips to take away to help her”.  J also enjoyed being around the other people on the course and fully participated.    She is looking forward to attending the second part of the course.

J is working towards doing more in her day such as arts and crafts and Yoga and is looking to volunteer in the first instance once her confidence starts to build.'  

Supported Employment Project

Who we help
Our services are available to people who:

  • are aged 18+
  • live in Hertfordshire
  • have assessed care needs under the Care Act following a social care outcomes assessment and
  • have a connection to an HCC Adult Disability Team.

 

What we do
Funded by Hertfordshire County Council, the Step2Skills Supported Employment team (formerly Work Solutions) is dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities find and maintain paid employment. Our primary objective is to enhance your confidence and self-esteem, working closely with both you and your employer to establish clear expectations.

 

How we can help you
Our comprehensive support includes:

  • Assisting you in crafting an effective CV, completing application forms, and honing your interview skills.
  • Identifying your skills, experiences, talents, and strengths through short-term unpaid work tasters.
  • Guiding you in searching for the right job.
  • Contacting and negotiating with potential employers on your behalf.
  • Offering advice and guidance on benefits and financial considerations while transitioning to employment.
  • Providing assistance in understanding and addressing any benefits-related or employment-related issues.
  • Applying for funding for workplace equipment, necessary adjustments, ongoing job support, or travel assistance through the Access to Work scheme.
  • Supporting your transition into your new role and ensuring a smooth start in the workplace. If necessary, we can also arrange for signers or interpreters to provide additional support.

 

What your journey with us will look like
Your journey with us begins with an assessment of your specific needs, skills, and aspirations. We work closely with you to develop a tailored plan, which may include skill development, job search, and securing the right position. Throughout the process, we provide continuous support, ensuring your transition into employment is as seamless as possible.

Although we can't be certain exactly who will support you, take a look at the Meet our Team page to hear more from our team of Employment advisors, Job Coaches and Mentors.

Local Supported Employment Project

Who we help
Our services are available to people who:

  • are aged 18+
  • live in Hertfordshire
  • barriers to employment include either Autism and/or a Learning Disability and
  • are not currently engaged in paid work.
  • You do not need to be referred; you can apply directly or apply on someone’s behalf if they are happy for you to do so

 

What we do
The Local Supported Employment program assists adults with learning disabilities or autism in securing paid employment. As a branch of the Supported Employment team, we offer the same comprehensive Supported Employment Service.

 

How we can help you
Thanks to recent funding, we can now extend our services to individuals who are not currently working with Adult Care Services.

 

What your journey with us will look like
Your journey with Local Supported Employment starts with your desire to find paid work. We'll work with you to identify suitable job opportunities, prepare for interviews, and navigate the job market. Our aim is to help you secure and maintain employment that aligns with your skills and goals.

You will be assigned an Employment Advisor who will work with you on a one-to-one basis. Each Advisor works with around 10-12 participants at any one time, usually on a face-to-face basis. How often you meet with your Advisor will vary depending on the level of support you need, but we will work with you in your local area as far as possible.

Once you have found work, we may also provide you with a Job Coach if you need further support during the early stages of your new role. On average, we provide support for ten months.

 Although we can't be certain exactly who will support you, take a look at the Meet our Team page to hear more from our team of Employment advisors, Job Coaches and Mentors.

 

Phoebe's experience with Local Supported Employment, told by her Employment Advisor
I started working with Phoebe in May 2023; she has a diagnosis of autism and struggles with anxiety. Phoebe has previously worked in both the admin and the retail sector but struggled to stay in these roles due to feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

During the vocational profile process, I spent some time working with Phoebe around her preferences for a job and looking at what support she would require to be able to manage. We agreed that something in Admin would ideally work best for her, and she would require in-work support to build up confidence as meeting new people, being in new environments and doing new things causes her a lot of anxiety. We did some work on building confidence, developing interview and employability skills as well as applying for a range of jobs on job sites, whilst I was sourcing a work taster.

I found an opportunity with EM Tuition, a specialist training and tutoring organisation providing quality education to help people thrive and progress. They were looking for someone with admin and recruitment experience, Phoebe has both and as such it was agreed for her to come in for a visit. It was explained that the role is currently voluntary but would be moving to a paid position in January 2024. I met with Phoebe and the manager and we discussed the role which would involve advertising for volunteer tutors, ensuring tutors are fully vetted including DBS applications, data entry into online systems, checking benefit documents for financial status, communicating with tutors and parents via email and phone calls and interviewing tutors. Phoebe was anxious but agreed to try this with the support of myself.

To begin with Phoebe was so anxious; she struggled with walking in the building and sitting in the office environment. I would do these things with her and stay with her during her training so that she felt comfortable and after a few sessions I started to gradually depart, sitting on a different desk, then sitting in another room, then meeting her halfway through the shift and then working from the Tesco opposite.

During this time Phoebe has attended twice a week for several hours each time. She has built good relationships with staff and management, gathered a good understanding of the job role, been trusted to do some work from home and even conducted interviews independently for new tutors. Phoebe is now at a stage where she is going into her voluntary placement independently and doing the hours by herself, knowing that she can contact me via the phone if required. The manager is impressed with her work and has reiterated that she has the skills and is on track to gain a paid position in January as she has developed her independence and is doing the job well.

Prince's Trust team programme

princes trust team programme logo

Who we help
Our services are available to people who:

  • are aged 16 - 25
  • residents of Hertfordshire and
  • currently unemployed, not in education or training. (NEET)

 

What we do
The Prince's Trust Team programme, led by the Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service and partially funded by Step2Skills, is dedicated to supporting young individuals. We provide essential resources and guidance to help them kick-start their journey towards employment, education, or training.

 

How can we help you
By participating in this program, you'll benefit from:

  • Enhancing your interview and presentation skills
  • Assistance in crafting an impressive CV
  • Support in securing work experience placements and valuable references
  • A boost in confidence and motivation to actively seek employment or pursue further education and training opportunities.

 


What your journey with us will look like

Upon enrolling in the 12-week programme, you'll embark on a transformative journey that equips you with the skills and confidence to make your mark in the world of work, education, or training. Watch the Prince's Trust Team programme video to find out more, or...

Day 1: Meet new people
Don’t worry about turning up on your own – there’ll be about 12 people joining and everyone will be in the same situation. It’ll be informal and there’ll be plenty of activities so you’ll soon feel part of things.

Week 1: Take action
Over this week, you’ll start planning for the weeks ahead – setting out what you want to achieve and finding out how to get your qualifications. You’ll also be planning for a week away.

Week 2: New experiences
You’ll spend this week away – trying new things and learning how to work with others. This gives you a chance to break away from your current situation. The sort of things you could do include canoeing, climbing, raft-building and much more!

Weeks 3-6: Something to talk about
As a Team, you’ll decide on a project to benefit your local community and carry it out. You might be surprised at what you can achieve together. This gives you great experience to talk about at interviews.

Weeks 7-8: Work placements
This is the time to see how the skills you’ve developed so far can help you in the workplace. It’s also a great chance to try out a type of work, or company, to see whether you like it.

Week 9: Plan for the future
Time to plan your next steps after the programme. You’ll get help to write a fantastic CV, practice your interview skills and make applications.

Weeks 10-11: Meet the challenge
You and your Team will take on a challenge to help others in the community. This is when you get to test out all the skills you’ll have worked on so far.

Week 12: Have your say
In your final week, you’ll deliver a presentation with your team to an invited audience. This is your chance to show off the talents you’ve discovered! This may sound scary now, but after 12 weeks on Team you’ll be surprised at how far you’ve come.

 

Hear from a recent Team participant
Jonathan joined the Prince’s Trust Team programme in January 2023 aged 25 after struggling with his confidence as a result of repeated knock backs at job interviews. He was long-term unemployed and felt like he was being discriminated against at interviews and during work trials as a result of his autism and hearing loss. He was experiencing high levels of anxiety as a result. Jonathan had completed a Work and Health programme with the support of the Shaw Trust but had been unable to secure work as a result and was now being supported by Hertford Job Centre in finding employment.

“I was a media student struggling at Hertford regional college while completing creative media between 2014 and 2019. I was planning to apply for a part time work as a starting point. Then the pandemic hit, and I struggled with applications and jobs in general, as my stress and anxiety was in a state of overload.

Before I applied for the programme, I was working in a part time position before being let go without warning. I was upset, angry and felt I was let go without being given the opportunity to show my worth.” - Jonathan.

Jonathan was really keen to work and threw himself into the Prince’s Trust Team programme with enthusiasm. He travelled to Baldock Fire Station from Hertford every day for the full 12 weeks, involving a trip of at least 1 hour each way.

Jonathan overcame multiple barriers to take part in the Team programme. His autism meant that he found changes to routine and uncertainty difficult to handle, and he demonstrated resilience and perseverance in adapting to the multiple different locations, timings and projects that make up the Team programme as well as challenging and uncertain behaviour from other learners. Unfortunately, the idea of completing the residential trip became too overwhelming for Jonathan. However the Team Leaders supported him in completing an alternative project for the duration of the week away to ensure that he was able to pass this module. Jonathan chose to research and prepare an interactive presentation on what it was like to live with partial hearing, which he delivered to the remainder of the group after their return from residential. The session lasted 30 minutes and included a demonstration of sign language and a chance for all learners to practice signing their own names to the rest of the group.

Jonathan had always wanted to work in theatres or film, and had completed a Level 2, Level 3 and HND in Creative Media. Staff were able to arrange a two week work placement at the Spotlight Theatre in Hoddesdon on a set timetable of repeat activities and timings to reduce Jonathan’s anxiety around change.

“I enjoyed spending time with this group there were varied personalities and attitudes and it was just a great group to be a part of. My social awkwardness was still there as weeks went by, but I grew more comfortable within this team.

The most enjoyable part of these 12 weeks was my work placement at the spotlight theatre. having that opportunity was enjoyable due to have the type of work I was doing. This included Box office and ushering.” – Jonathan

As a result, the Spotlight Theatre offered Jonathan the chance to apply to be a volunteer usher. Jonathan was delighted by this opportunity as it gave him the chance to work in a theatre alongside like-minded people. The Team Leaders were able to supply the Spotlight Theatre with a reference for Jonathan to support him in accessing this position.

“Hi Flora, got possible good news! I could start to be paid for my theatre work as i recently did an 11 hour shift last weekend as a volunteer. The managers are discussing it over the next few days.”

 

Praise for Step2Skills

What People Say about Us
Insight MCL

"The more diversity in our industry the better and more creative it will be."

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Abby

Director at Insight MCL

Photo of William

I have been taking part in a traineeship for Stevenage FC Foundation for a month now in the Sustainability subsection. I have learned a ton about this field through the time I’ve spent here.

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William

Inclusive Employment participant, 2022

Employment Advisor Jonathan and employer Michael sitting at a table having a discussion.

'Thanks to the hard work of my Employment Advisor Jonathan, I was offered an excellent opportunity of a work trial within the Legal Services department at Hertfordshire County Council. The opportunity was offered by Michael, Head of Legal Operations.'

Read More

Jack

Employment Support participant, 2023

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