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Government announces £5 million investment to help SEND young people find work

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The Department for Education has announced a £5 million investment in supporting young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) into employment.

Local authorities will use the government money to create relationships with employers and offer supported internships, establish employment services, and help schools provide preparation for employment.

The employment rate for people with SEND is only 7%, but a government trial of supported internships resulted in 36% of SEND participants securing paid employment.

Children and families secretary Edward Timpson said there are “far too few opportunities” for young people with SEND to “make that leap into adulthood”.

He added: “Nothing is more important than giving you that feeling of self-success and the satisfaction that you have been able to accomplish what you’re capable of. It is about what you can do rather than what you can’t do.

“We have a responsibility to make sure every young person can thrive as they move in to an independent and happy adult life.”

Remploy learning disability champion Susan Allott urged more businesses to get involved. “You can throw as much money at it as you like, if we don’t get more employers involved then nothing will happen,” she said.

She added: “We need to get every employer in London to take this seriously. If we want a more aspirational system for all people with learning disabilities then paid employment has to be the thing that drives the whole system.”