The Black Country Skills Factory and Black Country Careers Hub have secured 2 venues across the Black Country to offer work experience to young people who have special education needs and/or disabilities in the form of a pop-up shop.
Young people will either develop their own marketing campaigns to ask for donations of pre loved items to sell or sell their own hand-crafted items (or a mix of both). The venues who are supporting this initiative include Provision House in Dudley and Wolverhampton Art Gallery.
In 2020-21 the percentage of adults with learning difficulties in employment in the UK was only 5.1%. In The Black country the rates are - Dudley 3.9%, Sandwell 0.7%, Walsall 3.3% and Wolverhampton 5.4%.
The Black Country Skills Factory and The Black Country Careers Hub hopes this experience will help to prepare young people to access paid employment in the future, develop their employability skills and enrich their CV.
There is a big lack of opportunity for real work experience in our region for SEND young people, research evidence analysed for The Careers & Enterprise Company suggests that work experience is effective in enabling young people and young adults with SEND to make a successful move from school to further or higher education, training, employment or self-employment.
Experiences of the workplace can demonstrate the capabilities of young people while providing them with first-hand knowledge of the working environment and this is what we hope to achieve with the project.
Currently we have 2 locations with 255 SEND pupils benefitting from 14 settings across the region. The pop-up shops commence on the 3rd May in Dudley and 16th May in Wolverhampton. The schedule can be found by clicking here.
Please get behind the young people and support them to develop their work-related skills.