The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Horizons 6th Form and Motorpoint UK have been working in partnership to improve employment opportunities for people with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
As part of National Careers Week, the partnership is urging other companies to do the same. With just 6% of young people with SEND currently in secure employment, there is a large potential pool of un-tapped talent available to employers.
The Open Doors programme which started in February gives 25 young people the opportunity to take part in a series of sessions lead by Motorpoint UK, to gain an insight into the business, meet employees and complete work-related tasks.
Rachel Quinn, Head of People and Skills at D2N2 said: “As part of our People and Skills strategy, D2N2 encourages employers to widen their search for talent to include those who might be excluded from traditional recruiting processes for a variety of reasons, despite possessing the skills employers increasingly require.”
“Through Schemes such as the Open Doors programme, we’re bringing together employers and potential candidates, allowing each to learn how they can benefit each other.”
A great opportunity for students to engage with employers in a positive way
Joe Johnson, Horizons Teacher and Careers Leader said: “What a great opportunity for our students to engage with employers in such a positive way, we have so much potential here with young people that just need an extra bit of support to break through the barriers preventing them from entering employment.”
“Motorpoint have been superb and have really developed a good understanding of our student’s needs, these are the kind of partnerships that are vital in helping to raise the aspirations of our young people and at the same time increase awareness with employers”
Emma Wilson, People Development Manager at Motorpoint said: “Having the opportunity to work alongside the staff and students at Horizons has been truly inspiring, with support from D2N2 we have succeeded in providing the first programme of this kind and I am so proud to have been part of this. The virtual employer encounter sessions have allowed the students to see into the world of work despite the current pandemic; delivering this virtually has actually opened up the opportunity for students to meet people from across our business, with the restrictions of geographical locations being taken away by video technology.
The students have turned up to each session engaged, excited and motivated; their keenness to learn about roles at Motorpoint, why they exist in the business and what skills are required to do them has been incredible. As employers, we have a lot of information to offer these students, but you cannot underestimate what these students have to offer us as employers. I would encourage all employers to reach out and see how you can help in your local area, facilitating these sessions is rewarding in many ways and can really make a difference to the student’s futures!”
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