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Special Educational Needs: Unpaid Work

Question for Department for Education

UIN 133800, tabled on 6 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to improve supported internship schemes for disabled young people.

Answered on

11 January 2021

Supported internships are a key part of our offer to support young people with SEND into employment. Since its introduction, the Supported Internships programme has grown year on year. The most recent report in January 2020 showed that 2,231 young people with Education Health Care plans were undertaking Supported Internships, an increase from 1,646 from the same time in 2019 and 1,186 in 2018.

We anticipate that the COVID-19 outbreak is likely to negatively impact this growth. Department officials are looking into how we can sustain and strengthen the Supported Internship Programme, which we know will be all the more important in light of the challenges to the labour market brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak.

In September 2019 we launched a review of SEND policy, which includes looking at how we can provide the highest quality support that enables children and young people with SEND to thrive, prepare for adulthood, and secure high quality outcomes. Officials from across the government are working to inform the development of the National Strategy for Disabled people, in particular consideration of what more can be done to support young people with SEND to prepare for and successfully transition to adulthood, including employment.

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