Change that leads to better lives

Vocational Profile

This resource is a discovery document that is specifically related to work and supporting someone to find a job.

Vocational profile

Brief Summary for Doing a Vocational Profile

A vocational profile is a way of gathering information. It is a discovery document, that is specifically related to work and supporting someone to find a job.

A vocational profile is a person-centred approach to finding out what a young person wants to do and provides an opportunity to understand what a person is interested in and to explore why. If we do not complete a vocational profile, then we do not know enough about a young person in relation to their aspirations for work and to get the best match of a job for them.

It is not intended that young people complete a profile by themselves, but for someone to support them to work through it until it is complete. It should be done through a conversation or series of short conversations, ideally with a job coach or other person who is going to support the young person on a work experience, a work placement, a supported internship or to get a job. Job coaches are usually employed by supported employment organisations, but increasingly they are working in colleges and local authorities.

The vocational profile should be a live document, if at all possible - kept online and updated after any kind of work experience or work placement.

It can be used from school year 8 or 9 as part of the school curriculum. It could also be used by a job coach within a supported employment organisation.

The vocational profile will capture details of where someone lives and who they live with, information that helps us understand what support a person might need to get a job. It helps to identify areas for development such as learning how to travel independently, telling the time and using money. In the new Preparing for Adulthood vocational profile, the questions in section 4 are specifically designed to gauge what support a person might need in the workplace.

Doing vocational profile is an opportunity to find out what a young person is interested in, what their skills and talents are and it is a way of opening doors to what is possible. It should be a motivating conversation not one that leaves young people feeling they cannot succeed.

Useful Tips for Completing a Vocational Profile

  • Ensure that the focus is on the young person’s voice and their interests and motivations but also Involve parents and/or other family members
  • Adopt a one-step-at-a-time approach to completing the profile
  • Consider what the best environment may be to start profiling e.g. time of day and provide clear instructions that the young person will be able to understand

This PfA vocational profile can, of course, be used as a basis for you to develop a bespoke version for your local area. As well as the vocational profile, we have also produced a summary sheet that could be attached to the Educational, Health and Care or other plan.

Related Projects

Useful Info

This resource was created by the National Development Team for Inclusion as part of our delivery of the Preparing for Adulthood programme, which was funded by the Department of Education to support the SEND reforms.

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