Inclusive Apprenticeships scheme opens up untapped source of skills
"The Inclusive Apprenticeships scheme is a win-win. At a time when businesses in a number of sectors are affected by serious skills shortages, this is a great opportunity for them to recruit young people with the potential and passion to learn."
Employers are being urged to take advantage of a talent pool largely untapped by getting involved with a groundbreaking new scheme from Warwickshire County Council.
The county council has added another strand to its ongoing support for people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities with the introduction of the Inclusive Apprenticeship programme.
The programme, which is specifically designed to offer flexibility in the access of the Apprenticeship, means training and qualification opportunities for young people with SEND become much broader and unlock new employment and career paths which may not have been accessible before.
The pilot scheme will initially support cohorts of young people into customer service apprenticeship roles as soon as June, but employers are asked now to consider how a talented person with SEND could enhance their business.
The County Council is working with MENCAP and DFN Project Search - a transition-to-work programme, committed to transforming the lives of young people with learning and disabilities and autism.
MENCAP has a dedicated employer engagement team to assist employers with any queries they may have around taking on talented young people with SEND. The programme also offers a dedicated job coach to work alongside each apprentice, supporting them to establish in their role until they are confident to work independently.
The Inclusive Apprenticeships scheme adds to the work already ongoing locally to support young people with SEND. In 2019, the Supportive Employer forum was created by Warwickshire County Council and the Careers Enterprise Company (CEC) to providing internships and work experience with businesses for learners at Warwickshire’s special schools and colleges.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council and portfolio holder for economic development, said: "The Inclusive Apprenticeships scheme is a win-win. At a time when businesses in a number of sectors are affected by serious skills shortages, this is a great opportunity for them to recruit young people with the potential and passion to learn.
"For the apprentices, this scheme will open the door to careers which enables them to fulfil their potential and contribute greatly to businesses as much-valued employees. I would encourage all employers to think about how a talented young person with SEND could benefit their business."
For businesses wanting to explore Inclusive Apprenticeships, the Warwickshire Skills Hub and Education team is hosting a virtual event on Wednesday 3rd March from 12 noon to 1pm. During the event, business leaders will hear how Inclusive Apprenticeships could benefit their business and how to get involved.
Places can be booked via the eventbrite link or by contacting the Warwickshire Skills Hub Team on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further.