Inclusive Futures - helping SEND students gain work experience

During April and May, we had the pleasure of inviting four SEND schools to participate in a programme called Inclusive Futures, a series of workshops that culminated in the grand finale - a reverse careers fair showcasing the students skills and strengths.  

In collaboration with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the workshops were designed to help students identify their own skills and talents, explore different job roles and understand workplace expectations.   

The primary aim was to build students’ confidence and prepare them for conversations with a range of employers, with a view to securing valuable work experience opportunities.  

The reverse careers fair was a huge success and a memorable highlight - there were musicians, digital creatives, horticulturalists and entrepreneurs and that was just the students in attendance. 

Employers took part in a workshop on inclusivity from Enable Disability and Inclusion Consultants, heard from DWP’s Advocacy Team regarding the government’s Access to Work scheme and practical tips from local businesses Jacobs and Nando’s on how they are supporting young people in the work place. Students themselves took part in a confidence boosting, energising session from Yew Tree Youth Theatre allowing the students opportunity to work with each other in a safe environment.   

Following these workshops, employers engaged directly with the students, offering them a chance to showcase their skills and discuss potential careers paths.  

The event was a tremendous success and thoroughly enjoyed by all participants. Many students left with promising offers of work experience, marking a significant step towards their future careers.   

We are proud of the students and grateful to the employers for their support and commitment to fostering an inclusive workforce.