In a society that often struggles to provide inclusive opportunities for individuals with learning difficulties and disabilities, WayFinder Specialist Employment Service at Landmarks Specialist College stands as a beacon of hope.
Since its inception in 2016, this unique employment service has successfully supported 104 Supported Interns, with an impressive 91 of them receiving offers of employment. This achievement is a testament to the college’s commitment to empowering young people with learning difficulties and disabilities, breaking down barriers, and fostering independence.
The statistics speak volumes about the effectiveness of WayFinder Specialist Employment Service. Of the 104 Supported Interns, an astounding 64% secured paid employment, while 36% embraced voluntary positions. Notably, these figures far surpass the national average of 4.8% for individuals with learning difficulties in paid employment known to local authorities, showcasing the programme’s dedication to defying expectations.
Furthermore, the retention rate over the last three years stands at an admirable 83%, underlining the college’s commitment to long-term success and stability for its interns, via the After College After-Care service.
Diverse Industry Placements:
WayFinder’s success is not limited to a specific industry; rather, it extends across a diverse range of sectors. The programme has facilitated placements in areas such as Retail, Hospitality & Catering, Animal Care, Grounds Maintenance, Hair & Beauty, Education, Health & Social Care, Local Authorities, and Floristry. This breadth of opportunities ensures that interns can explore various fields, discover their strengths, and carve out a path that aligns with their aspirations and interests.
The Importance of Active Employment:
The transformative impact of WayFinder Specialist Employment Service goes beyond statistics. Employment plays a pivotal role in the lives of young people with learning difficulties and disabilities for several reasons:
Enhanced Independence: Gainful employment fosters a sense of independence and self-reliance, providing individuals with a platform to contribute meaningfully to society.
Increased Confidence: The sense of accomplishment derived from being employed enhances self-esteem and confidence, enabling individuals to overcome challenges and embrace new opportunities.
Social Inclusion: Employment facilitates social integration by providing individuals with the chance to interact with colleagues, customers, and the community at large. This helps break down societal stigmas and promotes a more inclusive environment.
Skill Development: Active employment is a powerful avenue for continuous skill development. It allows individuals to acquire and refine their skills, preparing them for future career advancements and opportunities.
Financial Stability: Employment provides financial stability, empowering individuals to lead more fulfilling lives and make meaningful contributions to their communities.
WayFinder Specialist Employment Service at Landmarks Specialist College stands as a shining example of what can be achieved when dedication and innovation converge to support those with learning difficulties and disabilities. Through its holistic approach, diverse industry placements, and impressive outcomes, the programme not only defies national averages but also instils a sense of purpose and belonging in the lives of its interns.
As we celebrate the success of Landmarks, let us reflect on the importance of actively promoting employment opportunities for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities. By doing so, we not only enhance individual lives but also contribute to building a more inclusive and compassionate society.
Share The Journey is our biannual magazine that explores all of our Supported Interns and showcases their achievements. Our magazine is distributed for free and is jam-packed with relevant information, success stories and advice. Download the latest edition it here.