SEN school leavers to gain job training through tailored internships

Janaki Mahadevan
Wednesday, June 27, 2012

School leavers with complex learning difficulties or disabilities are to be offered tailored internships, in a trial involving 14 further education colleges from September.

All children with existing SEN statements should be transferred to the new education, health and care plans by next month. Picture: Alex Deverill
All children with existing SEN statements should be transferred to the new education, health and care plans by next month. Picture: Alex Deverill

The Department for Education announced the launch of the programme for young people aged 16 to 25 with special educational needs, with a view to the pilot expanding to all colleges by September 2013.

Backed by £3m of government funding, the initial pilot will offer young people a structured training programme with an employer, to help them gain the skills needed to secure employment.

The young people will also receive help from specialist job coaches, get on-the-job training and have the chance to study relevant qualifications.

Children’s minister Sarah Teather said: "This is about helping young people with complex needs learn the skills they need for the workplace within a real job situation.

"We have to be more ambitious and tap into huge potential in people with learning needs. We can’t leave the most vulnerable on the scrapheap, without a way of getting a job and being able to live as independently as they can.

"With appropriate mentoring, even young people with complex needs can shine in a successful business.”

From 2014, statements of special educational needs will be replaced with a single education, health and care plan covering support from birth to age 25.

The 14 colleges delivering supported internships are:

Hull College
Blackburn College
Mid-Cheshire College Of Further Education
Shipley College
Stephenson College
Otley College Of Agriculture And Horticulture
North Warwickshire And Hinckley College
Plumpton College
Thanet College
Bexley College
Sir George Monoux College
Somerset College Of Arts And Technology
Worcester College Of Technology
Queen Alexandra College

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