Leonard Cheshire DisabilityYoung people with special educational needs (SEN) living in North and East London have the opportunity to join a new training and employment scheme.

The scheme, called Worksmart, is aimed at young people aged between 16 and 25, who are not in employment, education or training and have a statement of SEN or equivalent. Leonard Cheshire Disability, which is running the scheme, will work with them to find the right job for them or to gain the skills they need to get one, or to move into further education.

In London nearly 50% of disabled people aged 16-64 are out of work, a much higher proportion than non-disabled people (27%).

 Action plans  

Each young person on the Worksmart scheme will have their own advisor who will design an individual action plan for them and help them to build their confidence and independence. The support will include access to job clubs, CV writing, interview techniques, work experience and training. Those who move into work will also get support for the first year, to make sure the process goes smoothly.

Worksmart, a two-and-a-half year scheme, is part of the European Social Fund and the Mayor of London’s Youth Programme. The scheme is being rolled out in the following boroughs: Barnet, Enfield, Haringey, Hackney, Waltham Forest, Redbridge, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Barking and Dagenham and Havering.

Leonard Cheshire Disability’s Rob Maisey, who manages the Worksmart initiative, said: “In the current economic climate young disabled people are facing even greater challenges than their non-disabled peers. That’s why we are looking forward to working with eligible young people who are keen to move into employment or full time education, or want to gain new skills, and make sure they are given the support they need to succeed. We are urging these people to get in touch as soon as possible.”