Department: Education, Enterprise, and Employability
Reporting To: Employability Team Leader
Salary: £22,748.16
Work Hours: Up to 37.5 hrs per week (per post), part-time hours considered
Contract Type: Contract
Holiday Entitlement: 20 days (FTE) plus bank holidays and Christmas closure, length of service increments.
Benefits: An employer pension contribution of 6%
People First’s Employability Programme, funded by The National Lottery through The National Lottery Community Fund, will support people with learning disabilities, and autistic people, to prepare for, secure, and succeed in, permanent, paid work. Job Coaches will provide respectful and responsive guidance, support and mentorship to learners, whilst also advising and guiding employers to enrich their practice to be inclusive and supportive as learners become employees. This is a nurturing and results-focused role that encourage and equip people to achieve their goals whilst driving positive change in workplaces across the county. Fixed contract to 1st December 2026 Funded by The National Lottery through The National Lottery Community Fund

Who we are

People First is an independent customer-led charitable organisation that has worked in Cumbria for over 30 years (with registered charity numbers 1184112 and 1184467).

We are passionate about our values of equality, respect, and inclusion. We provide a wide range of support and information services across Cumbria, Lancashire, and Teesside, all aimed at helping people to live informed, respected, healthy and fulfilled lives.

Purpose of job

People First Job Coaches are unique roles that will shape and deliver our ambitious Employability Programme and will have a profound, positive impact on the lives of many across Cumbria.

People First’s Employability Programme, funded by The National Lottery through The National Lottery Community Fund, will support people with learning disabilities, and autistic people, to prepare for, secure, and succeed in, permanent, paid work.

The role, supported by our Employability Team Leader, will join a new team of Job Coaches that work together to provide vocational training, on-the-job support during work placements in a range of environments, and agile support in ‘internal’ placements within People First settings. Together, this team, will support over 200 people over the next 3 years in a dynamic and impactful way.

The role’s purpose is to deliver this programme, providing person-centred support to help learners and graduates to achieve their potential and goals. In addition, Job Coaches will contribute to the delivery and development of the People First Academy’s wider employability initiatives.

Job Coaches will provide respectful and responsive guidance, support and mentorship to learners, whilst also advising and guiding employers to enrich their practice to be inclusive and supportive as learners become employees.

This is a nurturing and results-focused role that encourage and equip people to achieve their goals whilst driving positive change in workplaces across the county.

The Department

This role sits within People First’s newly formed Employability Team and is part of the People First Academy.

The Employability Team will work closely with People First’s Education Team and Enterprise Team to deliver training opportunities that support people with learning disabilities and autistic people to develop new skills and enter paid employment.

The team believes that in order to help people into paid, permanent work, we need to take an approach which makes employers a key partner, putting them at the heart of our work and methods.

The Employability Team has four core aims:

  • to ensure that People First offer a range of rewarding pathways into work for people with learning disabilities and/or autistic people.
  • to engage with employers to develop placements and to support employers to embed inclusive practice.
  • to support learners to engage with these opportunities and to progress into employment.
  • To generate wider support for People First’s employability work in the form of corporate sponsorship.

The Person

As a prerequisite, the successful candidate must believe in the core values of People First and be driven by our mission.

The ideal candidate will have a deep appreciation of the need to be flexible and responsive to the needs of people and will be able to work at pace to deliver high-quality on-the-job support in employment settings and vocational training that is person-centred, empowering and effective.

You will be a nurturing coach, who understands that quality support is based on person-centre approaches. You will be comfortable, and ideally experienced, responding to the needs of an individual by tailoring your support to their requirements, whilst remaining encouraging and aspirational.

You will be passionate about supporting people to learn and to develop; you will be driven by the progress people can make and playing your part in helping them achieve their goals.

Our ideal candidate will be comfortable as a front-line ambassador for the People First Academy; you will have a friendly, enthusiastic approach that will inspire the learners you work with, and collaboration from the employers whose workplaces you attend.

This role would suit a dynamic individual who wants to be a part of people’s development; someone who appreciates that building independence is a key goal, and someone who is flexible and excited by the potential of a growing and developing area of work.

Qualifications

  • Good all-round level of education
  • Training, qualifications, or equivalent experience in supported employment or person-centred approaches would be desirable but not essential.

Skills, Knowledge and Experience

  • Experience supporting people with learning difficulties and/or autistic people
  • Demonstrable experience providing person-centred support that meets individual needs
  • Strong communication skills and ability to adapt your style to suit people’s needs
  • Commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion
  • An enthusiastic approach that encourages action from those around you
  • Creative problem solving skills with an ability to adapt and learn
  • A high standard of written and verbal skills including the ability to record outcomes and document progress
  • Excellent ability to prioritise
  • Positive attitude to a fast-paced working environment
  • A nurturing approach that reflects the abilities of those you’re working with
  • Commitment to providing a high-quality service centred on the needs of individuals
  • Experience or willingness to adapt to a variety of working environments (Job Coaches will support learners in a range of businesses from manufacturing to hospitality)
  • Driving is not essential, but a willingness and ability to travel to placements is required.

Duties will include:

Supporting Learners:

  • Offering practical support and guidance to learners that take part in the People First Academy’s employability initiatives, in host employer’s settings across a range of industries
  • Supporting learners with travel needs, ensuring they are punctual and arrive on time. This may include collecting learners and travelling together
  • Preparing learners ahead of a placement, mentoring learners on what to expect, and what an employer will expect
  • Addressing learner support needs before placement that could include time management, preparing for the day including uniform checks, and developing independent travel skills through the delivery of travel training.
  • Engaging with learners to regularly determine their engagement with placements and employability learning
  • Regularly assessing and evaluating learner’s progress
  • Liaise with parents/ carers where appropriate
  • Meeting with learners and/or parents and carers (if appropriate) and working with the Employability Team Leader to complete Employability assessments
  • Documenting learner progress; ensuring milestones are met and that adjustments and support measures meet needs and encourage development.

Collaborating with employers:

  • Meeting with employers as part of an induction (with learners) before placement
  • Building good, trusted relationships with employers
  • Working collaboratively with employers and learners, to identify any training needs
  • Being the on-ground support/point of contact for the employer and help with any queries
  • Supporting employers to implement inclusive practices across their organisation, advising and guiding
  • Monitoring employers approaches and culture to ensure their commitment and shared values with PF.

Coaching on placement:

  • Accompanying learners on placements in a range of setting in diverse sectors including within People First settings (The People First Conference Centre and Café)
  • During placements, taking a person-centred approach to support that responds to individual needs
  • Deliver a programme of support for each placement to foster learner’s independence
  • Complete a record of progress
  • Maintain a close relationship with employer
  • Encourage learner to adapt to the workplace and to be clear on their needs
  • Support reasonable adjustments.

Record keeping:

  • Working with Employability and Education Co-ordinator to record learner progress
  • Working with learners/employers to assist with Access to Work claims through the DWP – support will be provided to develop knowledge in this area
  • Working with the Employability and Education Co-ordinator to monitor progress of DWP Access to Work applications.

Networking and Relationships:

  • Identify and nurture effective relationships with external stakeholders (families, carers and employers)
  • Act as an ambassador for the organisation
  • Events and functions may require travel, evening and weekend work.

Other Duties

  • Evening and weekend working may be required.
  • The duties outlined above are not intended to be exhaustive and may change as the needs of the organisation alter in line with current agendas. Due to the developing nature of our organisation, we require staff to remain highly flexible in their approach, and work to meet the changing needs of the projects.

For more information


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