Employment opportunities to empower young people with Additional Learning Needs


A scheme providing young people with Additional Learning Needs (ALN) the support and training necessary so that they can successfully go onto employment has got off to a successful start.

TheFlexible Supported Employment Pathway(FSEP) is a Cardiff Council schemedelivered by theCardiff Commitmentin partnership with theLocal Authority's post 16 ALN Teamand Cardiff Council's Education Catering Service, as the employment partner.

Providingtraining and 12-month work experience placements to young people with additional learning needs and/or autism, the scheme aims to prepare and support them in their transition from school to full time employment.

Since launching in May, four pupils aged 16-18 from the Specialist Resource Bases at Cantonian and Llanishen High Schools have gained hands-on experience in a commercial kitchen and accessed work skills training, including the Level 2 Food Safety Qualification.

They will now gain access to a unique opportunity, and transition into paid employment through theFood & Funinitiative,Cardiff's multi-award-winning school holiday enrichment programme which provides children with health and well-being provision during the school holidays.

In addition to the benefits seen by the learners involved, the scheme enables the Education Catering Service to access a previously unrecognised workforce, promoting diversity and inclusivity in their staff.

At the end of the summer holidays, the young people will be supported in applying for vacant positions within the Schools Catering Service and beyond.

Cardiff Council's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Sarah Merry said: "TheFlexible Supported Employment Pathway contributes to Cardiff's objectives tosupport children and young people who require additional provision and guidance, by providing tangible opportunitiesandaccess to good-quality work experience placements so that they can go onto to find future employment.

"As well as providing an opportunity for learners to experience what a working environment entails and what is expected of them, they are also encouraged to integrate as an employee, undertaking the duties that an employed member of staff would undertake. This builds independence and confidence, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to apply for future positions.

"The scheme relies on organisations to come forward to support and host placements, and in turn presents employers with an opportunity to expand the diversity of their own workforce, facilitating community links, cohesiveness and contributing to improving the outcomes of our communities city-wide. They are invaluable in helping to support more young people to becomeambitious, capable and prepared to work whilst championing confident individuals ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of our communities."

Charlie Batten, Head of the Specialist Resource Base at Llanishen High School said: "Pupils can develop employability skills and have the opportunity to take industry relevant qualifications such as food hygiene during their placements.

"The project offers the young people in our provision a vital opportunity to develop the skills necessary for working the catering industry."

Lucy Warner, Catering Manager at Llanishen High School said: "I noticed that having Kai around boosted the morale of the rest of the team, he is honestly like a breath of fresh air to be around, we all love engaging in conversations with him and he has had a positive impact on our workplace." 

Young people are referred to theFlexible Supported Employment Pathwayby their school at the ages of 16-18 years.

If you would like to find out more about how you can supportthe scheme,please

The Cardiff Commitment - the Council initiative that brings together the public, private and third sectors in partnership, with schools and education providers, to connect children and young people to the vast range of opportunities available in education, training and the world of work.