Dozens of Northumberland children and young people with a wide range of learning difficulties and disabilities are being given valuable experience of the world of work.
Students at Cleaswell Hill School in Guide Post will be undertaking work placements and hearing direct from businesses about job information in the region thanks to the North East LEP’s Enterprise Adviser initiative.
Newly-appointed enterprise adviser Keith Nicholson, general manager of the sustainable development company Earth Balance in Bomarsund, has linked up with the school.
He said: “Physical and mental disability should not be a barrier to employment – that’s a really important message we need to send to young people and employers.
“I’m looking forward to working with Cleaswell Hill School staff and students at to show them the opportunities available to them in their area.
“I want students to have a realistic picture of what it’s like to work in different sectors so they can make an educated choice about their future.
“I’ll also be working with businesses to dispel some of the myths around employing someone with a disability.”
Cleaswell Hill School provides specialist education for children and young people aged four to 19 with a range of complex needs and disabilities.
It provides support and guidance to help overcome the barriers that may have affected many students’ progress in the past.
Emma Steele, the school’s Sixth Form cluster leader, said: “Working with Keith and Earth Balance is helping us to open our students’ eyes to a host of different careers.
“Giving them experience of a real life work environment will be really important in creating and raising aspirations.
“This experience could be the start of future career for many of our students.”
Enterprise advisers work in partnership with enterprise co-ordinators to support schools and colleges with their careers, enterprise and employer engagement strategy.
For more information, visit www.nelep.co.uk