IMPROVING EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR LEARNERS WITH SEND

Date: 07/10/2021
Author: Oldham College
Company: Oldham College

Oldham College is proud to announce that it has been chosen to join the Education and Training Foundation’s (ETF’s) Centres for Excellence in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (CfESEND) programme by becoming one of eight new employer spokes across the country. 

As a Further Education (FE) provider with a particularly strong relationship with a wide range of employers, including those with a track record of employing learners with SEND, we plan to bring together a range of trend-setting employers from different industry sectors to show how businesses can benefit from diversifying their workforce.

We will be joined by the seven other FE providers also named as spokes this week:

  • LTE Group with an offer led by the NHS and start-up businesses
  • National Star with an offer led by wealth management, facilities management and learner self-employment
  • Luminate Group with an offer led by museums and art galleries
  • Activate Learning with an offer led by National Grid and their learning companies
  • Hampshire County Council with an offer led by construction (highways) and employment hubs
  • London South East Colleges with an offer led by theatres and sports
  • Dynamic Training with an offer led by health and social care with a specific focus on supported apprenticeships.

At Oldham College our offer will include a programme of activities to connect local trend-setting employers from different industries with people with SEND, showcase their skills and suitability and illustrate the benefits of diversifying their team.

Teresa Carroll, National Head of Inclusion at ETF explained: “As the country recovers from the effects of both Brexit and the Covid pandemic, learners with SEND are a huge untapped resource to employers and businesses. Eighty one per cent of non-disabled people are employed whilst only 52% of people with disabilities are employed, hiring people with SEND is not just the right thing to do, but makes good business sense too.”

Alan Benvie, Vice Principal - Student Experience and Inclusion at Oldham College said: “We are so pleased to have been chosen as one of the eight spokes which will deliver this programme across the country. We are looking forward to getting started and building on the fantastic track record the CfSEND programme has established.”

Oldham College recently won the EduFuturist College of the Year for its use of assistive technology and has won a National SEND Award for the last two years running.

The CfESEND programme provides expert support for leaders, managers and practitioners who wish to put learners with SEND at the centre of their organisation as part of a Department for Education (DfE) funded national programme. The Centres are hosted by Weston College, Derby College and City College Norwich. The programme began in 2019.