Don't Hold Back - Welsh transitions report

Year of Publication: 

The report from the Children's Commissioner for Wales highlights many issues young people face as they become adults and points out the limited choices and funding available. Transition services, where they exist, vary greatly across Wales and frequently fail because they do not place young people at the centre of the planning process. Being able to make the right choices depends on the availability of the right information and too often this simply doesn't exist. The report emphasises the importance of a coordinated response and the positive impact a keyworker or a lead professional can have on the outcomes for young people. An easy read version of the report is also available.


Employment-related findings

Work was the most important aspiration for young people. The route to jobs was found to be fractured. No one (young people, parents or professionals) mentioned supported employment as a possibility. None of the young people spoke about apprenticeships or on the job learning and, anecdotally, researchers were told at fieldwork sites that most of the young people could not enter apprenticeships due to not having the entry requirements of GCSE Mathematics and English and colleges not providing part time apprenticeships. Work-based learning appeared to be a particular gap which contributed to the fracture between college options and work options.

Approximately half of the respondents had had work experience via their school in years 12 and 13 (aged over 17) but this was usually within specialist volunteer placements or in segregated environments rather than in the community.

The report recommends that the Welsh Government’s ‘Prosperity for All’ Employability Programme should engage with and build on the learning from the current 5-year Big Lottery ‘Engage to Change’ programme in order to develop lasting and widespread supported employment opportunities for young people with learning disabilities who are able to take this up.