Call for businesses to help young learners with educational needs and/disabilities enter into employment

19th September 2023

As only 1 of 3 SEND Centres for Excellence in the UK, Weston College’s dedicated team in the Faculty of Inclusive Practice are looking for businesses in Bristol and North Somerset to help build sustainable futures for young learners by helping with the transition from education to employment. We are looking to help businesses diversify teams and work together to give young adults with Special Education the chance to reach their full potential. Through a Supported Internship, young adults with additional needs have the opportunity in finding employment. Employers can be pivotal in changing life chances and offering opportunities for young people to achieve their aspirations. If your business can help a young people with SEND transition into work from higher or further education, we would like to hear from you. We can help you receive the right support to succeed in their education and as they move into adult life. The experienced team can help every employer with any concerns, challenges, or barriers you may face and offer guidance, knowledge and advice.

Last year, statistics were published by The British Association of Supported Employment (BASE) showing that only 5.1% of people with learning disabilities known to social services are in any form of paid work, but it is known that 65% of people with learning disabilities want to work.  In 2022, there were approximately 133,000 EHCPs held by 16-25-year-olds which roughly estimated 4500 young adults, aged 16-25 with additional needs ready to work. One of the key ambitions of the current SEND reforms is to get more young people with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities into employment. They state:

“We know that with the right preparation and support, the overwhelming majority of young people with SEND are capable of sustained, paid employment. Throughout the consultation, we heard repeatedly that children, young people and their families want to be confident that their education is preparing them for work, and that the people working with them share those high ambitions. They want to know what options and pathways are available to them, and what support and adjustments can help them succeed”.




Young people with additional needs are more likely to be unemployed or economically inactive than learners without extra requirements. They continue to face many barriers to entering the workplace, particularly for the first time. Weston College, amongst many other Further Education institutions, continually see young people with SEND leave education and struggle to enter the workforce. We want to build a strong talent pool around Bristol, North Somerset and beyond for businesses.

Breaking down the barriers into employment can be daunting, we understand but also hugely rewarding. We would love to work with business interested in learning more about how a Supported Internship can support not only a young person but really diversify any size and type of business. The Faculty of Inclusive Practice currently offer training workshops, employer forums and ongoing support to any employer keen to engage with our learners. We are interested in hearing from businesses could potentially offer a placement, or that want to learn more about getting started. We also want to build a thriving employer engagement group to shape how we engage our learners into industry.

We would love to hear from you, so please contact the team on [email protected] and get involved. Check out all our Employer Support options here 


About Weston College

Weston College is an Ofsted outstanding college of further and higher education in Weston-super-Mare, 25 minutes from Bristol. Here at Weston, we provide education and vocational training to around 30,000 learners across the South West.

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