Through Learning to Earning - employer-led report on transitions

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An employer-led group has recommended action to help young people with SEND make the transition from education to employment. Action includes employers offering more supported internships, opening up apprenticeships to more young people with SEND, and better careers advice.

The Transitions to Employment Group was chaired by former Lloyds Banking Group senior manager Graeme Whippy MBE, who said:

“Every year, around 120,000 young people with SEND join the labour market from education, with up to four times the risk of unemployment. Stemming this ‘pipeline’ is crucial to cutting the disability employment rate and ensuring that all young people have a fair chance. At the moment, opportunities are being missed.”

The Group reviewed evidence, and drew on the knowledge of a wide range of practitioners, experts and employers. They found powerful examples of employers working in partnership with education and training providers, but not enough. They have written to Disability Minister, Justin Tomlinson to recommend some practical steps to make a difference.

These include:

  • A call to action for employers - build into Disability Confident a commitment to key steps such as recruiting supported interns and disabled trainees/apprentices, working with schools, colleges and recruitment agencies.
  • A rapid expansion in Supported Internships – to be offered by more employers and education providers.
  • Extend the internship approach to more students – elements of the internship model (such as job coaches) can improve employment progression for students with milder impairments, making traineeships and apprenticeships inclusive and effective for all.
  • An inclusive careers strategy – the forthcoming Department for Education careers strategy should address concerns about the disconnect between careers and disability advice, with action to improve outcomes for young people with SEND.