The rationale for supporting young people into employment

SOFA's firm believe, our drive, is that young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, including those with more complex needs, should be supported to develop the skills and gain the qualifications and experience they need to succeed in their careers.

This is consistent with the Government’s vision for disability and employment set out in Fulfilling Potential: Making it Happen (DWP, 2013) , and the wider reforms to the SEN and disability (SEND) system which is set out in the Children and Families Act.

We know that most people with a learning difficulty or disability want to work. However, only a small percentage (7% of adults known to social services with moderate to severe learning difficulties) is currently in paid employment. A 2007 Ofsted survey of college-based provision12 for 16-18 year olds with learning difficulties and/or disabilities found that learners’ progression to employment was ‘under-developed’ and a more recent report from Ofsted suggests that this issue remains. Achieving paid employment not only brings young people financial independence, but it can be key to building confidence and self-esteem, increasing health and well-being, and to gaining friendships and a social life. There are also benefits for the economy, employers, families, the local community and wider society.


What is Access to Work?

If you want to work but have a disability that makes working a problem you may be able to get help from the Access to Work scheme. This provides practical advice and support to help you overcome work-related obstacles. It can also give you grants towards extra employment costs.

What is a supported internship?

From August 2013, all young people in full or part-time education aged 16 to 19 (16 to 24 where the student has a Learning Difficulty Assessment or Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan) have been expected to follow a study programme3 - a coherent, personalised learning programme that offers breadth, depth and progression. A supported internship is one type of study programme specifically aimed at young people aged 16 to 24 who have a statement of special educational4 needs, a Learning Difficulty Assessment, or an EHC plan, who want to move into employment and need extra support to do so.

For more information follow the links below: