The DFN Foundation and the National Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Employment Forum (NSEF) have joined forces to launch the ‘Finding Your Future’ campaign.
The campaign has been created to support and motivate young people with learning disabilities and autism to maintain positivity and momentum during these uncertain times – it was officially launched by gold medal Paralympian, Rachel Morris MBE, on 30th March.
Everyone deserves the right to aspire to the very best future – yet nationally only 5.9% of people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) go on to secure full-time paid employment. This coupled with Covid-19 related workplace closures has meant that many young people with SEND completing supported internships have had their pathway to employment interrupted.
DFN Foundation and business and education leaders who collectively form the NSEF work to ensure individuals get the opportunity to access high-quality transition to employment opportunities.
Supported internships are a key tool in supporting young adults with learning disabilities and autism transition into fulfilling and meaningful jobs.
The Finding Your Future campaign has been launched to keep this group of talented individuals motivated, inspired, engaged and focused on returning to their respective internship programmes in the near future, maintaining one clear aim – securing permanent paid employment.
The motivational campaign will feature a series of online videos from industry experts, influencers and programme graduates in full-time employment, with gold Paralympian Rachel Morris MBE sharing the first in the series of videos to officially the launch the campaign.
The campaign videos will cover a variety of topics surrounding personal development within the workplace, as well as “top tips” and “how tos” for viewers.
DFN Foundation is also behind two pioneering programmes, DFN MoveForward and DFN Project SEARCH, which have directly responded to declining national employment figures for people with learning disabilities and autism, creating a joined-up pathway and enhancing support and training for those furthest from the labour market.
DFN Foundation and NSEF believe the motivational campaign will provide individuals with the inspiration they need to stay on their journey to employment.
Claire Cookson, CEO of DFN Foundation said:
“We’re excited to be launching the Finding Your Future campaign as a way to keep young people with learning disabilities engaged and upbeat during these times of uncertainty. Rachel Morris is a truly inspirational figure who has gone after her dreams and we couldn’t have a better role model to launch our campaign. We hope the campaign will allow young people on supported internships to focus on returning to their respective programmes in the near future whilst maintaining a positive pathway to employment.
“Everyone deserves the right to aspire to the very best future and with recent Covid-19 related workplace closures, many young people with special educational needs and disabilities completing supported internships have had their pathway to employment put on hold.
“This is why we feel it’s more important than ever to continue our commitment to enabling positive change and help motivate young people throughout the UK with learning disabilities and autism, so we can continue to transform lives. We believe that Finding Your Future is a fantastic way to continue achieving this.”
You can view the first video, launching the campaign from Rachel Morris MBE here: