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Project leads the way in increasing the employment aspirations for young people with disabilities.

Published: 28/04/16

Three important resources have been launched this week that aim to help authorities, education providers and career advisers provide a more inclusive approach to employment for young adults following evidence that school leavers with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are finding it difficult to achieve their work ambitions.

Supported by the Department for Education (DfE), the National Development Team for inclusion (NDTi) and the British Association for Supported Employment (BASE) have worked to develop three guides that demonstrate best practice.

The three guides comprise:

A planning guide for schools, colleges and careers advisers on how to work with young people from year 9 onwards to understand the world of work and to think about their skills, interests and work aspirations.

A guide for colleges on employer engagement on how to identify and work with local employers to understand their business needs and promote the skills and aspirations of individual young people.

A guide for local authorities on how to connect with and understand employers and ensure that employment support for young people sits alongside authority-wide strategies for employment, housing and individual funding.

As part of the project Employment is Everyone’s Business, NDTI and BASE have worked with schools, colleges, young people, their families, employers and local authorities to demonstrate that young disabled people with special education needs want to work and can work, and employers are also keen to offer them real job prospects with fair wages; however some changes are necessary to increase support and understanding to help plans become a reality.

Evidence within the guides show that talking and thinking about jobs can become a key part of all young people’s education and planning for the future. By adapting current practices, local authorities, schools, colleges and supporting agencies can come together to have a profound impact on the employment and life chances for thousands of young disabled people and people with special educational needs.

Examples of success already exist in Wolverhampton, Kirklees, Bath & North East Somerset as well as Slough, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Reading, West Berkshire, Bracknell and Wokingham in Berkshire.

Huw Davies, Chief Executive, British Association for Supported Employment said:
“Employers are discovering the skills and enthusiasm that young disabled people can bring to the workplace. This project has brought a business focus to meeting the needs of young people as they move from education into adult life. We’ve witnessed some fantastic practice that can be shared across the country to ensure that young people with disabilities get the best possible start to their working lives.”

Bill Love, Head of Development Support at the National Development Team for inclusion, said
“We have shown just what can be achieved when young people, their families, schools, colleges, local authorities and employers work together. If every young person had this support we could hugely improve their education and life chances”.

EEB is also available as a package of support; for more information visit https://www.ndti.org.uk/our-work/our-projects/employment1/employment-is-everyones-business1 or contact Bill Love from NDTI on 07958 397129 or Huw Davies from BASE on 07946 537286.