12:46 pm, Thursday, 26th October 2023

Exciting launch of new SEND Employment Forum

Join us for the SEND Employment Forum Launch.

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Employment Forum is a new forum bringing together local businesses, services from education, health, social care and the volunteer sector, and national organisations like the Department for Work and Pensions to meet with lead officers working with young people with SEND.

Join the forum on Wednesday 29 November from 8:30am-12pm at 155-159 Freeman Street, Grimsby, DN32 7AR (Learning4Life building).

All local businesses and organisations are invited to attend the forum to learn more about hiring young people with SEND. This is a chance to network with other organisations and leaders in SEND.

The forum will be establishing strong links between local colleges and service providers to create a strong foundation for an inclusive and diverse workforce.

Speakers at the event include:

  • Laura Bladon, Programme Specialist from DFN Project Search
  • Esther Dame, Equality, diversity, and inclusion Project Officer from Diana Princess of Wales hospital
  • Anne Hayward, National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) Associate
  • Suzanne Kavanagh-Mills, Head of Service for Employability at Linkage College
  • Vicky Kirman, from Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education (GIFHE)

Over the recent months our supported internship offer has tripled and is continuing to grow.

Locally we offer DFN Project Search, a successful supported internships programme which is delivered around the world and the Supported Internship programme at GIFHE.

Students taking part in this programme lend their skills to various roles like admin, estates, retail, and catering at Diana Princess of Wales Hospital. Last year five young people participated in the programme and two went straight into paid employment at the hospital. There are a further eight recruits this year.

The young people praised the opportunity saying how they have grown in confidence, enjoyed every role, the people that they work with and the friends that they have made.

Both large businesses, charities, and independent small and medium enterprises can all benefit from participating in supported employment and internships for those with SEND.

These young people bring a wealth of value to an organisation with hands-on and interpersonal skills, strong work ethics, and a willingness to try new things.

Every young person that is given a supported internship is supported by a job coach who works with the organisation and young person to understand the role and ensure that the internship is a success.

The Local Authority and local colleges are looking for organisations who can offer a variety of roles to young people.

New roles include the Grimsby crematorium grounds maintenance, and hospitality in their cafe.

Annie Cook, Lead Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) Coordinator for Post 16 said: “This is an exciting time for our local area to grow our supported internship offer, enabling more young people with SEND the opportunity to develop their employment skills enabling them to move onto paid employment in the future”.

Councillor Margaret Cracknell, Portfolio Holder for Children and Education said: “Growing our supported internships offer is a great opportunity for young people. A strong, forward-thinking workforce is good for local businesses and our community. The young people in our area have so much to offer given the chance.”

If you would like to learn more about this exciting opportunity, please attend the launch or get in touch at AskAnnie@nelincs.gov.uk.