Charity launch campaign to offer work experience to youngsters with disabilities

Social mobility charity Speakers for Schools has partnered with disability organisations such as Mencap to provide work experience to 2,000 young people across the UK who have a disability or special educational needs.

Its campaign, Access All Areas, aims to make the world of work more accessible to young people with disabilities, as well as supporting businesses to cater for workers with additional needs.

Work experience placements will be available to young people aged 14-19 throughout October.

Rachael Saunders (pictured), of Speakers for Schools, said: “Many young disabled people leave school to find themselves unemployed despite being able to work.

“The disability employment gap is alarming and needs to be urgently addressed, which is why we’ve launched Access All Areas, working with employers to raise awareness about the benefits of hiring people with disabilities and working to identify roles they would excel at.

“Meanwhile, young people with additional needs require tailored careers guidance to help them feel confident when applying for jobs and knowing what’s out there.”

Mark Capper, of Mencap, said: “Offering young people with a learning disability and/or autism a chance to engage with employers to get a sense of what having a job is like is a vital part of developing confidence and aspirations.

“Working can be more than just a job – it can make people with a learning disability and/or autism feel valued and included in society.”

Speakers for Schools was founded in 2010 by ITV’s political editor Robert Peston, and supported by the Law Family Charitable Foundation, with a mission to help level the playing field for young people of all backgrounds.

The charity’s aim is to end educational inequality by giving all young people access to the same prestigious networks available to the top fee-paying schools in the UK.

Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2021, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Speakers for Schools.