Learn about the different support that is available for blind and partially sighted students during an apprenticeship.Find out more about 'What Support is Available During an Apprenticeship?'
How to Get an Apprenticeship
To start your apprenticeship journey, think about the types of job or area of work you are interested in or have a passion for. As a blind or partially sighted student, you are likely to face challenges along the way, but if you are enthusiastic about the career path you have chosen, this will help to keep you motivated and push through the issues you encounter.
When considering your options, focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t. As a blind or partially sighted person, there might be jobs or careers which are not a perfect fit for you, but there are many more great opportunities you could thrive in. It is amazing what is achievable with the right support, so keep in mind that support is available to you during your studies and throughout your working life. This support could make all the difference in enabling you to do a job which you previously thought was not possible.
Online career quizzes can be a fun way to get thinking about your skills and ideas for possible jobs and career paths. Why not try out the quizzes below:
- Take The ‘Buzz Quiz’ Careers Test. What Job Could You Do?
- Skills assessment | National Careers Service
- Career Quiz – Youth Employment UK.
The three steps to get an apprenticeship
We have broken down the beginning of your apprenticeship journey into three simple steps:
Step one: Finding an opportunity
First you will want to find an apprenticeship that will meet your needs and aspirations. Think about:
- What job do you want to do in the future?
- What experiences and skills will you need for that job?
- What support will you need to do that job well? Look out for the Disability Confident Employer logo. See if they have information about supporting disabled employees. If they don’t, ask! We will cover the support available to you on an apprenticeship later in this guide.
Once you have established this, you will know what to look out for in an apprenticeship advertisement.
Try the following options to find apprenticeship opportunities:
- Use the Find an Apprenticeship UK Government website to search apprenticeship opportunities. You can also filter results to only show Disability Confident employers.
- If you are in contact with a careers advisor or Qualified Teacher of Children and Young People with Vision Impairment (QTVI), ask about opportunities they know of locally.
- Search for companies which interest you and contact them directly. Do this with support from a careers advisor or our Employment Service’s Reach and impress prospective employers resource.
- Through a benefits advisor, if you receive benefits and would like advice on local opportunities.
- Via social media channels such as LinkedIn or job search websites like Indeed. Check out our Employment Service’s Job search tips.
Step two: Making an application
Once you’ve found an apprenticeship you like, it’s time to make your application. Start applying as soon as possible in the autumn or winter terms in your last year at school/college (if applicable). Give yourself enough time to put your applications together and to prepare for any interviews or assessments.
Step three: Disclosing your vision impairment and arranging support
Getting the right support during your apprenticeship is vital. As apprenticeships include time spent with an employer and in the classroom, you are likely to need support to be put in place so you can access both. Disclosing/telling the employer and education provider about your vision impairment is a key first step in making sure you get the support you need.
Disclosing to the employer
Telling the employer about your vision impairment is a good idea if you want support to be put in place sooner rather than later. This can be done at two points in the application process:
- In the Equal Opportunities form for support at interview.
- In the initial assessment with the employer.
Employers who are part of the Disability Confident Employers scheme will guarantee you an interview if you meet the basic criteria. So, brush up on your interview technique
For further advice on disclosing your vision impairment and the benefits of doing so, visit our Disclosing that you are blind or partially sighted page.
Disclosing to an education provider
Education providers (colleges, universities, etc) have a duty to make their learning as accessible as possible to students who have additional learning needs, such as a vision impairment. They should have dedicated staff/teams who are responsible for assessing your needs, exploring what support would work for you and ensuring the support is put in place during your studies.
When you are in contact with the provider, mention to them you have a vision impairment and you would like to be put in touch with the relevant team/staff to discuss your access needs and support.
Guidance to support blind and partially sighted students through their studies in college and further education.Find out more about 'College, Sixth Form and Apprenticeships'