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The recently released Welsh Government report  ‘Transitions to Employment’ includes a case study analysing the success of the 7-year Engage to Change project, led by Learning Disability Wales, supporting 16-25-year-olds with additional learning needs (ALN) to overcome barriers to paid employment.

The project’s success has led Learning Disability Wales to propose the establishment of a National Job Coaching Service to the Welsh Government, influencing the Jobs Growth Wales Plus scheme that provides funding for job coaches, inspired by Engage to Change. Learning Disability Wales advocates for further support through Careers Wales to extend and expand the National Job Coaching Service, although challenges related to UK and Welsh Government responsibilities have slowed down its progress.

Recommendation 8 of the report urges the Welsh Government to review support for job coaching for learners with additional learning needs. Drawing on the positive practices developed by Engage to Change, the recommendation proposes the preparation of an ALN job coaching strategy to expand the provision of specialist coaches and help learners with additional learning needs to secure paid employment.

Dr Hefin David, MS in a plenary around Education’s Links with Employers yesterday, opened up his speech with the words “Aspiration, Aspiration, Aspiration” and then went on to explain how projects like the Engage to Change “Had been a keyway forward for people with a learning disability and/or autism”. He was also pleased that the Welsh Government were taking the “necessary action” to continue supporting similar schemes that could give young people with additional learning needs a “choice and clarity” when pursuing a career.

Jeremy Myles, MS, Minister for Education and Welsh Language also expressed his gratitude for Dr Hefin David’s report, saying he “Welcomes introducing job coach support into schools”  and also highlighted the importance of “planned and sustainable work planning to meet the needs of learners and enable successful progression.”

Transitions to employment report here: