About AFK's unique transition programme

Young woman at a computer desk

Our mission at AFK is to help prepare young people with learning disabilities for the transition to life after school.


We do this through our unique transition programme, which encourages independence and focusses on creating opportunities so our students can live their lives more like others their age.


ⓘ ‘Transition’ is the process of changing or moving from one thing to another—for example, moving from school to a job.


Our ultimate goal is to help young people with learning disabilities into paid employment. We have helped many trainees move on to paid work – read some of our employment success stories here.


88% of my AFK trainees who got paid work through our placements are still in employment one year later. Our work WORKS!

About the programme

1. Aspire to Work (age 14-18)

Our Aspire to Work Programme is for disabled students age 14-18, who are still in school but would like an introduction to the world of work, while gaining important skills and experience that will prepare them for leaving school.


Students in the Aspire to Work Programme are encouraged to dream big and start learning new skills that will help them gain employment in the future. We focus on:

  • building aspirations
  • increasing awareness of opportunities for work
  • developing skills such as teamwork and independence
  • gaining real work experience in work placements
  • learning the basics of independent travel
  • visiting workplaces and meeting employers to learn more

2. Life and Work (18-25)

Our Life and Work Programme is for disabled young people aged 18-25, who want to live more independently and move into paid employment.


Trainees on the Life and Work Programme participate in regular skills sessions to help prepare them for work. The skills we focus on are:

  • interview practice
  • CV building
  • communication
  • time keeping
  • working as part of a team
  • travel training

Meet one of our trainees: Nirav

Young man sitting at a computer desk at a law firm

Nirav started coming to AFK in 2013 for our previous Holiday Programme and was initially very nervous, but he tried lots of different activities and gradually became much more confident. Nirav attended tutoring and training sessions as part of our Education and Training Programme for two years, and then became a trainee on the Life and Work Programme in 2015.


His first work placement was at our community cafe and bike shop, Bikes For Good Causes, where he learned how to make coffee and tea, use the cash register and serve customers.


Nirav told us he was interested in working in an office, so Elaine, our Life and Work Manager, organised for an interview at one of our employer partners – a leading legal firm – where Nirav then completed a four week work placement in the IT department.


“I was shy when I first came to AFK and I wasn’t very talkative. I am more confident now – if I don’t like something, I still try it out. I would tell anyone else who feels like that to just go for it because it makes you feel happy and good and brave.”


Nirav has continued to develop his skills and experience, becoming one of our most well-known faces at AFK. In 2016 Nirav ran a successful campaign to join the AFK Youth Council and was elected for being inclusive, fair and a good listener.

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