Employment, Training and Education

Specialised Employability and Education programmes

Employment, Training and Education

We work with local authorities, agencies including Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), National Offender Management Service , Education Funding Agency (EFA) and Job Centre Plus. Our Employment, Training and Education programmes are long established.

See our Employment, Training and Education case studies here.

Employment, Training and Education at DISC

Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson (left) and DISC CEO Paul Townsley meet 18 year old Newton Aycliffe jobseeker, Callum Savage at the WOW Job Club.

Employment and Training Support

We deliver specialist support for clients with complex needs. They may include the long term unemployed, offenders, those with substance misuses issues, disabled people and other minority groups which face barriers to the labour market.

We help people to identify and remove potential barriers in accessing employment. With the client, we create a course of action to get them back into the work environment. We help them gain qualifications and skills, create a work record and develop that all-important work ethic.

Self esteem and motivation

In all our employment and training, we look at the whole person. We help people with their self-esteem and motivation and we prepare them for employment, training and education.

Flexible options for service users include:

  • Structured work placements with statutory and voluntary organisations
  • Volunteer placements
  • Vocational routes
  • Access to training
  • Opportunities to gain qualifications
  • Job search
  • Employability preparation courses
  • In work support

In 2014/15 DISC supported 727 people into work placements and over 400 people into paid employment.

DISC Education

DISC Education achieved the status of ‘Grade 1 Outstanding’ by Ofsted.

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DISC Education offers  services for young people aged 16 to 18. We are an independent training provider, specialising in working with people who have significant barriers to learning and providing tailored support to improve their education and employment prospects.

The Study Programme

Caterpillar visit of DISC trainees

DISC’s Study Programme, called Steps 4 Success, is funded via the EFA. It’s personalised and designed to challenge learners. It improves their skills for employment and independent living.The programme covers:

  • Development of vocationally-specific work skills linked to accreditation with an extensive work placement
  • Accredited personal social development programme
  • Development of English, maths and ICT Functional Skills
  • Enrichment activities


We provide support and activities  which are highly structured and which enables learners to overcome barriers to progress such as problems relating to housing, finance, leaving care and drug and alcohol misuse.

All programmes include a work experience element including placements in local cafes, administration, animal care, NHS IT support, game-keeping, childcare, adult day services and retail.  A work placement provides valuable experience of the work environment and supports learners to decide on future careers or study options.


Establishing Career interests

Our Employer Engagement Advisor works with learners alongside their tutor to establish career interests and will then source a suitable work placement to meet career needs.

DISC have built up excellent relationships with local employers  who have successfully provided placements for our young people. We work with over 20 local employers including including NHS, EXCEL Centre, M&Co. Classy Pawz, MEARS, Palram, Autosafe, More Time, Wild Animal Adventures, Wetheriggs Zoo and Animal Sanctuary, Studio28, Endeavour Woodcrafts, Little Cubs, Independent Living, County Durham Housing Group, Hilton Road Garage.

A clear focus on transition

We work in collaboration with Local Authorities, building contractors, colleges and employers (including SMEs) to ensure that provision of our training and employment services are reflective of local labour market demands.

“Best Practice” provider – Ofsted

In 2014, DISC Education achieved the status of ‘Grade 1 Outstanding’ from by Ofsted and has since been featured by them as a case study on best practice.

‘Outstanding’ means that DISC’s education services are  exceptional and those significant elements of their work are exemplary.’ Sir Michael Wilshaw, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, (Ofsted 2014)

Related Case Study

Paul’s animation tribute to service

Paul is a client of Step Forward Tees Valley and has created a superb animation capturing the thoughts of fellow service users about their experiences with the project. View the animation here. Paul says… [caption id="attachment_6544" align="alignright" width="400"] Paul's avatar[/caption] “I’d been a participant of Step Forward Tees Valley for a few months, looking at volunteering and other things that may have been useful to me. Meanwhile, me and my dad were looking into software that we could use to… Read the full case study.