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Training and Development

Our main offering for young people is the establishment of training and development to equip them with the skills and a portfolio of achievements that make them work-ready.

The main element of this development will be around a work placement project that aims to deliver a product or service to a real customer. The aims for our young people are:

  • learning new technical skills with mentor support

  • learning how to work for customers and when 'the customer is right'

  • learning how to work in teams trying to achieve a common aim

For our customers, the aims are to receive a product or service that they need but don't have the resource to develop in house, or the budget to commission externally.  Our customers will also gain insight into the passion, talent, and ability that our young people possess (even if they don't have any formal qualifications).

In addition to the main project, our young people will get involved in a variety of smaller tasks such as: website creation, computer repair, IT advice provision, and, hopefully, ethical hacking to help organisations understand their vulnerability to attacks.


We develop and provide services to support Social Firms that employ PALS.  Services to include:

  • IT infrastructure

  • Office space

  • Mentors and expert volunteers

  • Business Advice

  • Professional (accounting, legal)

  • Payroll

  • HR support

  • Policies

  • Marketing and Impact assessment

  • Access to social investors

Services will be provided free of charge to eligible Social Firms who, in return, will provide quid pro quo resources (PALS) to work on our projects.


Data on PALS outcomes is largely anecdotal and we will change this to have a much stronger evidence focus.  

PALS Society will commission and carry out research to contribute to the evidence base in two related areas:


  1. Collating and publishing good practice in helping people with different learning styles engage positively with the employment market

  2. Understanding the relationship between people with learning difficulties and undesirable outcomes including: difficulty in gaining and remaining in employment, social exclusion, health and crime.

We will widely publish our research and use the findings to help policy develop - centrally, locally, and in industry.

Our research questions:

  1. 85% of young people with autism are out of work.  This is a national average, and we need to know how this varies both within those diagnosed with ASC, and across the wider population of PALS.  Topics to be investigated include: type of learning style/difficulty, blend of different types of learning style/difficulty, family background, deprivation, mainstream or special school, exclusions, college further education, physical health and other complications.

  2. How does school policy on exclusions and inclusivity affect individual outcomes?

  3. What interventions carried out by CAMHS, SEN, School, 3rd Sector make the biggest impact on outcomes?

  4. At what age are the interventions most impactful?

  5. Does an early diagnosis of a specific condition help produce better outcomes?

  6. What is the real cost to the economy of PALS social exclusion and unemployment, and what is the economic gain affiliated with interventions (from authorities and third sector).

  7. What is the social cost to our communities of PALS exclusion, and how is this improved in areas that are starting to address the exclusion.  Does ‘best practice’ make a real impact to our communities?

Integration Activities.

Through our model of Safe Spaces, we will devise and deliver activities that help PALS re-connect with their communities and, equally importunately, allow the communities to embrace them.

Our first activity will be PALS Computing Confidence that has the dual goals of:

  1. Helping people in the community gain confidence with IT (computers, phones, tablets and connected devices)

  2. Helping PALS gain confidence with community interactions by placing them in a position of expertise and a carefully facilitated environment.

We will also involve mentors and subject experts in the projects that we run.  These will be people from local businesses who want to learn more about PALS and who want to 'give something back'. Ideally they will be from partner organisations that, longer term, want to find out how they can improve employment outcomes for PALS.

We will also engage volunteers from within the local community. Parents of PALS. Those who know families that are affected by PALS. Or people who simply want to help.  Their involvement will be to support a project or fund raising exercise, and to help integrate PALS back into the community.  Everything we do has this dual aim.

What we do

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