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Weston College and North Somerset Council join the WE WORK for Everyone Project

22nd June 2021

Weston College and North Somerset Council are delighted to join the WE WORK for Everyone project – an exciting opportunity to help support people with learning difficulties and disabilities (SEND) who need extra support to move into employment. 

The aim of project is to offer a unified approach Bristol, South Gloucestershire, BANES, North Somerset and Somerset to improve employment outcomes for people with learning difficulties. The key commitments are to empower people with learning difficulties, develop independence and support a seamless transition into the workplace. The project will also be working with employers to raise awareness to help them to understand the benefit of an inclusive and diverse work forces.

WE WORK for Everyone is a three-year project that will offer specialist careers guidance to over 2,000 people with complex learning needs. A total of £4.4m of funding has been secured, including £2.2m from the European Social Fund, £1.3m from the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) Investment Fund and additional funding from the region’s councils.

Weston College is at the forefront of SEND provision after winning a Queen’s Award in 2018 and was named as a Centre for Excellence in 2019 making it a national leader in SEND learning. This focal point of expertise, resources and a key provider in implementing a specialist model of support that enables people with SEND to achieve their full potential, making Weston College an obvious partner for this project in collaboration with the North Somerset Council.

As part of this project Weston College have employed ‘SEND Employment Navigators’ that are ready to work with participants to develop a training programmes to develop the skills needed and their confidence in applying for the right job  alongside supporting employers to create inclusive workplaces. The ‘Navigators’ can support with:

  • Matching participants to the right job pathway
  • Accessing training to develop the skills ready for work
  • Arranging work placements
  • Designing CV’s
  • Supporting with job searching and completing applications forms
  • Preparing for job interviews
  • Working with employers to understand the support needed
  • Developing digital skills
  • Accessing computer equipment

The project is open to anyone who lives in the North Somerset, is over 16, is not in employment and has a learning difficulty or learning disability (SEND).

Dr Paul Phillips CBE, Principal and Chief Executive of Weston College and winner of Principal of the Year 2021 at the sixth National Centre for Diversity (NCFE) Annual FREDIE Awards* said:

“As a College we’ve always embraced the ideals and ethos of inclusive learning and supported employment, and to be chosen as a partner for this initiate is a huge honour.

“As a national SEND Centre for Excellence we are perfectly positioned to be able to provide more opportunity to help even more learners transition successfully into adulthood. With unemployment growing, we want to offer our expertise to help provide more opportunities by directly connecting young people with available jobs through our large employer network.

“Collaborating with the Education Training Foundation, North Somerset Council and WE WORK for Everyone, the College is poised to embark upon a journey of impact, entrepreneurship and inclusion.”

Cllr Catherine Gibbons, Executive Member for Children’s Services and Lifelong learning said:

“We are improving outcomes for people with learning difficulties and disabilities (SEND) across West of England by securing a total of £4.4m of funding.  We will be working collaboratively with Weston college who was named as SEND Centre for Excellence in 2019 to deliver WE WORK for Everyone project in North Somerset to help support people with complex learning needs who need extra support to move into employment”.

WE WORK for Everyone is a three-year project that will offer specialist careers guidance to help project participants develop the skills and confidence for work and we are delighted to have this programme live in North Somerset for everyone aged over 16”.

Find out more:

  • WE WORK for Everyone
  • SEND Centre for Excellence
  • Offering an Into Work Supported Internship
  • Courses for 16-24 year olds with SEND

*FREDIE Awards – These awards are to champion and celebrate individuals and organisations who are going above and beyond in their commitment to Fairness, Respect, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement.

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