Careers jobs and volunteering

Information about careers, jobs and volunteering in Leeds.

Please see below for information about careers, jobs and volunteering in Leeds.

Careers Jobs and Volunteering


An apprenticeship might be a good option for you when you decide to leave school.

  • An apprenticeship is a job where you get paid.
  • You can do an apprenticeship at any age after you leave school.
  • You might need good maths and English to do an apprenticeship and there can be a lot of competition for some vacancies.
  • You will work for an employer and get paid to learn and train to do a job to the required standards.
  • You will receive support to do the apprenticeship and work alongside experienced people.
  • You will take qualifications as part of your apprenticeship.
  • You are given time away from the workplace to work towards your qualifications

Apprenticeship Levels

You can do an apprenticeship at any of these levels, depending on your ability:

  • Intermediate apprenticeship (Level 2) on completion this is equivalent to 5 GCSEs.
  • Advanced apprenticeship (Level 3) on completion this is equivalent to 2 A-Levels.
  • Higher apprenticeship (Level 4) on completion this is equivalent to a foundation degree.
  • Degree apprenticeship (Level 6).
  • Masters apprenticeships (Level 7).

You can move up through the apprenticeship levels and make progress in your career.

What are the benefits of an apprenticeship?

  • You get paid whilst you are learning! You are employed and paid a wage throughout the apprenticeship.
  • No debt. The employer or the government pays your study fees.
  • You learn real skills by practicing them at work.

To find out about all the different types of apprenticeships and what they involve visit:

To find out about companies that offer apprenticeships in Leeds visit: 

To find current apprenticeship job vacancies that you can apply for today visit: 

Click here to listen to local apprentices tell you what it’s like to do an apprenticeship.

Supported Internships

A Supported internships is a study programme for young people aged 16 to 24 who have an education, health and care (EHC) plan.

You will work with an employer for approximately three days a week, learning how to do a job. You will be supported by a job coach when you are at work. The job coach will help you to understand what you need to do and how to do it. For the remaining 2 days a week you will learn skills to help you such as maths and English and how to find a job. This time will probably be spent at a college.

  • Click here to read more about support internships
  • Click here to download the supported internship information booklet

In the video below you can hear from Leeds City College and Lighthouse Futures Trust. They explain what a supported internship is, how they work and how to find out more. This video was recorded on Tuesday 25 June 2024 during the SEND Next Choices event at the Leeds arena. 

Where can I do a supported internship in Leeds?

Lighthouse Future Trust 18 to 25 years old)

Lighthouse Futures Trust is an SPI (Specialist Post 16 Institution) based in Headingley, Leeds.

They support young adults with autism and/or learning disabilities to develop the social and employability skills they need to find and keep paid employment.

Pre-Internships with Lighthouse Futures Trust

Their 10-month pre- Internship programme starts in September each year and continues until mid-July. Young people who join this programme are interested in moving into paid employment but are not yet ready for a supported internship. They spend 1-2 years at the College base in Headingley and are offered a rich and varied curriculum with a focus on: employability; skills development; self-confidence; and resilience and wellbeing. They also study for Maths and English if they have not already gained a qualification.

Working in groups of 8-10 people the pre-interns experience different ways of learning – 1-1 coaching, group work, seminars, external visits and much more. In the summer term the aim is for them to benefit from work experience with a range of local companies in Headingley. When they are ready, they then usually transition into the supported internship programme, or they can remain on the pre-internship programme.

Internships with Lighthouse Futures Trust

The 10-month supported internship starts in September each year and continues until mid-July. Interns spend 3 to 4 days a week working with an employer, undertaking a real role working alongside other employees. LFT usually have between 3 and 8 interns working at each employer site and they are supported by one or two job coaches, who are also based on site. Interns then spend 1-2 days in college, studying for qualifications in Maths or English (if not already obtained) and developing other employment-related skills by setting up and running an enterprise project. Towards the end of the internship, job coaches work with interns to help them find paid employment, often with the employer where they have been based or, if not, with another locally-based employer.

Contact Details: 

Leeds City College (16 to 24 years old)

Leeds City College is one of the largest further education institutions in the country with more than 20,000 students. The college provides a vibrant and diverse learning environment, delivering excellent and innovative education which is supportive, inspiring and life changing to ensure every student can take steps towards success.

Leeds City College Supported Internships are personalised and structured work-focused study programme that help students gain the skills and experience they need to secure a job, through learning in the workplace.

Designed for students with learning difficulties and disabilities, or who need support with managing emotions and behaviour, Supported Internships combine classroom learning with work experience. Students will spend one day a week at Leeds City College with a focus on Maths and English and two days in a work placement, learning real skills and building a portfolio of your work achievements. Our goal is to support students achieve paid employment through the internship placement or within a very similar role.

Students will:

  • Receive personalised support based on their needs.
  • Get help from our expert job coaches.
  • Develop transferable skills for their future career.
  • Improve students’ confidence and become more independent.

Our Supported Internship programme is extremely personalised and is designed to support progression. To apply for a Supported Internship, you must be a current Leeds City College student, independent traveller and have a minimum of 6 months' work experience in the same field.

Contact details: 

What to do next

Please contact any of the organisations above if you would like to apply for a supported internship.

Employment and Skills Leeds, part of Leeds City Council, can provide free, impartial information about supported internships. To get in touch please email: 

Supported Internships – information for employers

A supported internship is a work-based programme for young people aged 16 to 25 with support needs. They must have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). They may initially require some slight adjustments and extra support in the workplace before they become fully independent.

There are currently 1,600 supported internship placements in the UK. Recent research has shown that they are highly effective in terms of helping young adults with support needs move into paid employment

How does a supported internship work?

A local education provider – usually a college – will set up a supported internship programme. They will recruit students who have a keen desire to move into paid employment. They are enrolled on a study programme where they develop social and employability skills as well as studying towards qualifications in Maths & English (where needed).

The programme helps develop workplace skills such as: professional communication; working in a team or independently; and workplace safety. They are also supported in terms of increasing their self-confidence and developing resilience.

Students spend an average of three days a week on an employer site, usually in an entry-level role, in a variety of areas including: IT; data management; catering; hospitality; front-of-house; laboratories; retail; post-room; warehousing; grounds maintenance and more. The employer identifies one or more ‘buddies’, from amongst their own staff, who will work alongside each intern.

They will receive appropriate training from the education provider on how to support the intern and ensure they perform to the best of their ability. The college will also provide a specialist job or work coach who will be based at the employer site (for some or all of the time). They focus on helping interns develop broader employability and social skills. Their role is to listen, support, encourage, coach, mentor and challenge students, in a supportive and safe environment. They also provide a vital link between the interns, the education provider and the employer.

Click here to download the supported internship guide for employers.

If you have any questions please contact the Employment and Skills Leeds, part of Leeds City Council, at 


Doing Good Leeds (18+ years)

Volunteering can be a life-changing experience, for the people that volunteers help and for you – the volunteer! There’s an opportunity to suit everyone and the Volunteer Centre Leeds team can support you into the right opportunity – particularly if you need a little extra help.
Volunteer Centre Leeds (a project of VAL) and has partnered with Be Collective to bring a dedicated Volunteer Platform to Leeds to help connect more people with meaningful volunteer opportunities. It’s packed with great features for volunteers, like creating a profile and collecting skills gained on a social CV you can download.

Search for volunteering opportunities here.

The Volunteer Centre is based in Leeds City Centre in the food court area of Leeds Kirkgate Market. There is a wheelchair ramp that can be accessed and there are no stairs within Kirkgate Market for customers. Large print forms are also available.

National Citizens Service (15 to 17 year olds)

National Citizens Service (NCS) is a three-part programme for 15-17 year olds. It’s perfect for boosting CV experience, statements of achievement, and UCAS forms. It’s also an unforgettable experience which builds confidence and independence. We run the programme during summer, autumn half term, and autumn term time.

Our aim is to run a socially mixed programme which is available to all eligible young people. We believe that the greatest benefits come from young people from all backgrounds mixing together, and benefiting from the understanding and support of their peers.

We try our best to accommodate young people who have a variety of needs and this is done on a case by case basis.

In light of this, places on the programme are conditional on providing a completed application form. After we review an application form, further details may need to be discussed before a young person’s place is confirmed, particularly if the young person has support needs.

Contact Details:

People Matters (18+ years)

Volunteering for People Matters is a very rewarding experience. There are lots of opportunities for volunteers both with and without learning or other disabilities to get involved in different groups and activities. Volunteer expenses are paid, there is a volunteer's handbook and training is provided.

Contact Details: 

Hollybush Conservative Centre (Adults)

There's lots going on down at Hollybush! We are part of The Conservation Volunteers and are a registered charity.

We are the charity that transforms lives, communities and greenspace across the UK.

If you just have a spare hour or so, pop down and have a wander around our wonderful garden and visit the cafÈ for a drink and some cake. Kids and dogs are very welcome!

You can make an afternoon of it and have a lovely walk along the canal, which is particularly nice in the summer months.

If you have a little more time and you really want to get involved, why not get in touch and discuss volunteering with us. Every Tues, Weds and Thurs we run practical projects all over Leeds. We do a range of activities, such as hedge laying, woodland management, and food growing projects in schools.

We also run regular walks, gardening sessions, and short courses. Get in touch to find out more!

Contact Details: 


Employment and Careers

There are a wide range of activities and resources available in Leeds to support people with special educational needs and disabilities to find employment and training.

Developing You is a free training programme for adults with learning disabilities and autism. You can take part in a range of activities to learn about the world of work, identify your own skills and interests and think about what jobs you might be suited to and what steps you could take to get there. For more information email:

The Autism and Learning Disability Digital Inclusion Network (ALaDDIN) brings organisations together to support people with learning disabilities to use digital technology. The programme has also worked with people to create video CVs as an alternative way to apply to jobs. Click here to view the accessible video CV guide

Careers for All is a project run by Leeds Museums and Galleries to find out about cultural careers. It involves fun activities including careers fairs, career taster days, work placements and site visits and tours. For more information click here to visit the Careers for All website or email:

A Supported Internship is a study programme where you spend one day a week enrolled at a local college and up to three days a week working with an employer doing a real job. You will be supported at work by a job coach. You could work in all kinds of different job roles from catering and warehousing to sales and administration and many others. Click here for more information.

SEND Next Choices - Getting ready for adult life is an annual event in June which takes place at Leeds first direct arena. This event brings together organisations and employers in one place who can answer your questions and offer advice about jobs, training schemes, apprenticeships, college courses, voluntary work, leisure activities, and financial matters. The event is free to attend and everyone is welcome.

The event takes places in June, and all information will be available on the Leeds Local Offer website.

Volunteer Centre Leeds offer an online platform for volunteering. You can search and apply for volunteer roles, or register and keep checking for new opportunities. Click here to search for volunteering opportunities in Leeds.


  • Being Employed Leeds is an accessible website for people with learning disabilities. You can look for jobs and training in Leeds.
  • START in Leeds provides careers information for young people over the age of 16, with a dedicated section on supported learning. The website provides a list of specialist education providers including Specialist Inclusive Learning Centres, colleges, sixth forms with resourced provision, work based learning and employment resources.
  • Leeds Employment Hub advisers can help you to find a job, apprenticeship, a training or Learning opportunity.
  • The National Careers Service can help you with your career, learning and training choices.
  • Your Local Jobcentre can help you find a job or gain new skills and tell you about disability-friendly employers in your area.
  • Scope's Employment Service with health issues and disabilities move towards employment with one-to-one support and group sessions.
  • People Matters job coaches can offer advice and guidance to identify support needs and aspirations and create personalised action plans to move you towards employment.

Organisations providing support

Access to work grant 

Access to Work can help you get or stay in work if you have a physical or mental health condition or disability.

The support you get will depend on your needs. Through Access to Work, you can apply for:

  • a grant to help pay for practical support with your work
  • support with managing your mental health at work
  • money to pay for communication support at job interviews

For more information about access to work and how to apply click here

Nxt Steps

Nxt Steps is a partnership programme led by Barca-Leeds with support from Leeds City Council and Leeds Youth Alliance. The programme helps 16 to 17 year olds (up to 25 for those with an EHCP or Care Experienced), who are at risk of or already Not in Education Employment or Training (NEET) to develop life skills, work readiness, get involved in social activity, and move back towards education, employment and training.

Contact details: 


Spear Leeds

Spear Leeds support young people (16 to 24 years old) who are not currently in education, employment or training to gain the confidence, skills and mindsets they need to secure their next steps. The Spear Programme initially consists of 6 weeks of coaching in group and 1-1 settings, followed by 12 months of support to help the young person thrive in work/education.

Contact details: 

Health adjustment passport

The Health Adjustment Passport can be used if you have a disability or health condition that makes it harder for you to move into work or stay in a job.

You can use it to:

  • support you to identify what support and changes (known as reasonable adjustments) you may need when you are in work or moving into work
  • apply for support from Access to Work. This could include funding for specialist equipment to support you to do your job, support getting to and from work or support when you are in work, such as job coaching
  • help you talk to employers about adjustments and in-work support that you may need

A job could also include self-employment, an apprenticeship, work experience or a supported internship.

Click here for more information and to download the health adjustment passport.