We can help you if you’re an employer and want practical help and advice to recruit and retain disabled talent.

We work with partners in the local voluntary and community sectors and with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to offer the Opportunity Sheffield programme to:

  • local employers
  • disabled people who may need help getting into employment
  • we aim to increase the number of people with disabilities in employment.

You can fill in our Employer Registration Form or contact us for more information.

Programmes we offer

Sheffield’s Working

This is an Employer Champion programme delivered by Big Ambitions. They work with local employers to:

  • remove barriers to employing people with disabilities (such as providing funding advice and access to work)
  • help people with disabilities and mental health conditions into employment
  • promote the benefits of a more diverse workforce

Sheffield’s Working Locally

These are work clubs offered in:

  • North and North East (delivered by SOAR)
  • Central, Burngreave and Darnall (delivered by Zest)
  • East and South East (delivered by Manor and Castle Development Trust)
  • South and South West (delivered by Reach South Sheffield)

Access to Work

This is a Jobcentre Plus scheme which provides practical and financial support for people who have a disability or long-term physical or mental health condition. You can apply for an Access to Work grant to pay for practical support to help your employee stay in work, or to support you if you’re self-employed.

Small Employer Offer

This is another Jobcentre Plus scheme. If you’re a small employer (25 employees or less), this scheme links you directly to disabled job seekers and gives support to you both. You can also get a small payment (up to £500) to cover additional costs such as mentoring if you’re able to offer a permanent position or at least a 2 year fixed contract to your employee.

Supported Internships

This is a training programme for people with learning difficulties or disabilities (aged 16-24). The training can help you to find a job, build self-confidence, build-up your work skills and employment history.

Skills Bank

This scheme connects you to high quality training providers to develop skills to grow your business. There’s funding we can invest in your workforce (£17 million of European funding).

Sheffield’s Working for ex–Offenders

This scheme is run by Prospects and provides employment support for ex–offenders.


We’ve various programmes to support employers and young people into apprenticeships:

  • Skills Made Easy - offers bespoke training programmes for businesses looking to develop the skills of their workforce
  • Sheffield 100 Apprenticeship Programme - a programme that supports employers who want to recruit disadvantaged young people (aged 16-19) by subsidising their wages by up to 50%

Work experience

We’ve work experience opportunities for over 1,000 school pupils (aged 14-18).

Disability Works Campaign

We’re running a campaign in partnership with the Sheffield Star to make it easy for employers to recruit disabled people.

If you’re a Sheffield business we’d like you to register with us by filling in our online form.

We can source employees for either work experience, or employment.  We can provide advice and support throughout the recruitment process that’s free to use as well.

We will also:

  • Assess your recruitment needs
  • Develop a tailored service for your business
  • Source appropriate recruits
  • Identify any funding available for aids and adaptations 

With a shrinking labour market and skills shortage, disability employment opens up new opportunities to recruit from a wider pool of talent.

Sheffield HR Manager, Sarah Mackie shares her experience

Sarah has registered to support the campaign and shares her story with us.

In April 2015, Sarah Mackie became SoloProtect's first HR Manager.  Sarah, who also has a learning disability, made such a positive impact, that she's now implemented a number of changes to improve SoloProtect's recruitment process.

SoloProtect, a Sheffield-based Lone Worker Safety company, were so impressed with the wide range of skills and qualities that Sarah brought to the business, that they now make a point of actively encouraging applications from disabled people.

What we can do for you

If you have a vacancy, or are thinking about recruiting, we can find you employees for either work experience or employment. We can provide free advice and support throughout the recruitment process. We can also identify funding available for aids and adaptations.

Shared experiences

We have a range of case studies you can read which share businesses' experiences of working with disabled people.

Opportunity Sheffield

0114 276 0039