REAL means - Realistic Employment for Adults with Learning Disabilities. The Real Employment service works with people who have a mild to moderate learning disability.

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About REAL

REAL Employment supports adults (18+) who have learning disabilities and have additional needs such as Autism, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia into volunteering, training and paid employment. We support throughout the application and employment process.

Who we work with

We work with Pluss to deliver Right Steps to Work on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions and the European Social Fund. It is co-financed by the European Social Fund.

The programme provides additional support and funding for those who are work ready, and can help with things like paying for uniforms and transport costs.


The support we provide is very individual and depends on the support the person wants and their needs.

Examples of support we can provide
  • Writing covering letters and CVs
  • Applying for jobs
  • Developing interview skills
  • Improving confidence
  • In-house training
  • Referral to external training
  • Job matching
  • Supported interviews
  • Support once the person has a job/volunteering role
  • Continued monitoring and support

Make a referral for REAL Employment

You can refer yourself. A family member or professional can also refer you on your behalf. You can also drop in to have a chat with a member of staff. We will take some basic details such as your name, address and phone number. One of our advisors will then invite you to a welcome meeting and complete an assessment to check if you are right for our service. You don't have to have a diagnosed learning disability, we take a holistic approach when assessing people.

After your referral

We want to check that the REAL Employment service is right for you. The first meeting will gather some information about your past experiences, strengths and the things you struggle with. You don't have to answer any question you are not happy to. It is informal and you can have a break at any time. If for any reason REAL Employment isn't right for you, we will suggest other services that might be.

In house training

We have a range of in house training available. This training is for customers of REAL only and is booked through your advisor. Training courses include:


The assertiveness course covers how to talk to people in a positive and confident way both in your personal life and at work.

Investing in you

This course is about how to look after yourself well to enable you to work to the best of your ability.

Facing fears

Sometimes starting a new job or going to interviews can be scary. The facing fears course looks at how to deal with these feelings in a positive way.


All employers like their employees to be productive. This course covers setting goals, organisation and prioritising tasks.

Staying safe

The staying safe training covers keeping safe while at home, in the community and at work.

Managing money

The managing money is a full day course run in partnership with Barclays bank. The training covers how to budget, dealing with debts., financial scams, saving money and much more.

Mind set

Mind set covers the psychological aspects to searching for, applying and taking part in interviews.

Interview skills

The interview skills course in an interactive course which provides information and tips on how to prepare for interviews.

Information for employers

Is your business interested in supporting people with a learning disability who are looking for work? If so, it could enhance your public profile by supporting your local community.

Work experience

If you would like to engage with the community and develop vital employment skills for local people. You should consider becoming a work experience provider, offering a chance to develop employment skills without any cost to your business.

  • We will match the right person for the placement
  • We will provide a job coach to train and support the person
  • We can advise on how to make reasonable adjustments if needed to allow the person to do their job.
Job carving

Job carving is where you take a little bit out of other jobs to create a new position. This can free up existing employees to concentrate on more demanding tasks. Job carving improves productivity, service delivery and profitability by using the skilled workers time to concentrate on tasks that require their professional level of skill.

An example may be removing more repetitive work from other positions to create a job for someone who works best at repetitive tasks. It's a win win situation, a person with a learning disability gets a fair chance and you get a skilled enthusiastic employee. Their enthusiasm can be infectious. Team dynamic and overall performance have been known to improve when employing someone with a learning disability.

Contact us

If you would like to speak to us about offering work experience, job carving or paid employment.