Employment and volunteering

Information from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)

In-work benefits

Access to Work is a government-run scheme for disabled people in work or looking for work. It can provide funding for equipment needed to make it easier to do a job. For more information, please visit the Access to Work website.

Leeds Hidden Talents Employment Fair

This event for autistic jobseekers was first held in July 2016, with over 250 people attending. It featured stalls from employers based in Leeds and training for businesses about the benefits of hiring autistic people.

To find out more, visit the Leeds Hidden Talents Employment Fair website.

Aspiedent

Aspiedent are a company that offer autism awareness training and help autistic adults into employment. They’re run by autistic people and also provide social skills training to anyone looking to get into work.

For more information, visit the Aspiedent website.

Workplace Leeds

Run by Leeds Mind, Community Links and Touchstone, Workplace Leeds is a service for people with mental health issues looking to get back into work. They provide support that can help you every step of the way, at your own pace.

Their service is for people who receive secondary mental health support and/or third sector autism or mental health support.

Here are their contact details:

Specialist Autism Services

Specialist Autism Services (SAS) are an autism service based in West Yorkshire who have an employment service in their Leeds building. They have a ‘Preparation for work’ group, offer one-to-one support and support to access education and training.

Here are their contact details:

Other employment links

Volunteering

If you’re looking for voluntary roles, Doing Good Leeds lists vacancies for would-be volunteers on its website, as well as local charities. It’s run by Voluntary Action Leeds (VAL), who work with smaller charities across the city.

For further volunteering opportunities, Do-It’s website lists vacancies by cause and also lists job vacancies in the third sector.

Your rights at work

There are a number of trade unions that you can join. Here is a list of some of the biggest unions in the UK and what they do:

  • ASLEF – A trade union for train drivers
  • BFAWU – The union for workers in the food industry
  • CWU – Communication Workers Union, for people working in telecoms, postal, admin, financial and mobile industries
  • FBU – Fire Brigades’ Union – the national union for firefighters
  • GMB – A general union that anyone can join
  • NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union – a union for teachers and headteachers
  • NUJ – National Union of Journalists – a union for journalists, PR professionals and people working in digital/new media
  • NUT – National Union of Teachers – the biggest union for teachers in England and Wales
  • PCS – Public and Commercial Services Union – a union for people working in civil service and government jobs
  • Prospect – a union for scientists, engineers and other specialists
  • RMT – National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers – a union for transport workers in rail, bus, coach and air travel
  • UCU – University and College Union – a trade union for lecturers, academics, researchers, admin staff and managers at universities and colleges
  • UNISON – a trade union for people who work full-time or part-time in public services such as the NHS and charities
  • Unite – a union for workers in all industrial sectors e.g. manufacturing. They have a Community section that covers unemployed people, students and volunteers
  • USDAW – a union for workers in retail, manufacturing, service and distributive sectors

For a full list of trade unions, visit this page on the TUC’s website. You should find a union that is relevant to your job.

Here are some relevant links to articles and documents about your rights at work: