Dorset bosses urged to champion more SEND talent in the workplace


Efforts to help more young people with disabilities or special educational needs to find work in Dorset have taken a major step forward with the launch of a dedicated one-year programme.
Dorset Careers Hub has launched the Removing Barriers initiative to raise the number of locally-based employers who are confident about taking on and supporting young people aged 16 to 19 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The Hub, jointly funded by Dorset LEP and Careers and Enterprise Company CEC, has appointed Andrew Holland of consultancy as project manager.
Andrew says: “We want to change mindsets and encourage more employers to come forward and recruit and champion disabled talent. We will be running a series of events to reach out to employers and will provide training, mentoring and coaching. Employers should know there are grants available to help when you take on and retain people with disabilities and special education needs.
Chelsey, an apprentice in business administration spoke of how the opportunity to start a supported internship two years ago had changed her life.
‘It really helped me with my confidence,’ she said. ‘Everyone at SAMEE made me feel really safe and secure. My manager always gave me extra time which meant that I wasn’t rushed, and they always made sure that the workplace was quiet and calm around me which made me feel really relaxed.
‘Everything they did for me meant I could concentrate on doing my best work, and I was really excited when they offered me my first paid job as their official Business Administration Apprentice.’


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