Shining the Spotlight - Action for Kids

We are really proud of our members and will jump at every chance to shout about them and their achievements! This is a dedicated place to showcase members and to shine the spotlight on their projects.

This time we’re celebrating the success of Action for Kids.

Who are Action for Kids?

Action For Kids believes in the supported employment model which has the underpinning principle that:

“Anyone who wishes to work, can work, provided the correct level of support is available”

Employment gives economic independence, opportunities to socialise, feel fulfilled and be part of society, yet only 6% of people with learning disabilities are in paid employment compared to 80% of non-disabled people.

Action For Kids’ mission is to give as many disabled young people as possible the opportunity to work or volunteer in their community by providing mobility equipment and employment and training opportunities.

What has been achieved?

For 20 years Action For Kids has run employability skills programmes for young people. We know that with the right support, work experience, work placements and work trials can ultimately lead to paid employment.

Action For Kids Life & Work programme for 19+ started in 2014 and 71% of Action For Kids Trainees are still in paid work. This includes jobs in shops, law firms, hotels, garages, restaurants, theatres, libraries, farms, schools and lots of other workplaces.

To achieve these results, we start talking with young people about their futures as early as possible.

How it works

At our London office and at a community bike shop and café, Bikes For Good Causes, students and trainees develop the following skills:

•             Teamwork

•             Communicating in the workplace

•             Problem solving

•             Making decisions

Students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) need a gradual transition from school to college and onto work. In line with the SEND Code of Practice’s emphasis on preparing young people for adulthood, Action For Kids supports students aged 14+ prepare for life after school and ensure their voices are heard.

In many schools, work experience is a stand-alone concept added to a timetable towards the end of an academic year. Action For Kids puts the student at the centre of the process, involves parents, carers and teachers, and provides an ongoing, fluid process from Year 8 through to college, work or training. Involving parents and carers at the early stages of this process encourages learners and parents to positively consider employment prospects in a realistic way.

For over 19s

Our team of specialised job coaches helps young disabled people get a job, while supporting employers to benefit from a diverse workforce.

On the journey to securing paid employment, trainees complete unpaid work placements and work trials at external employers to help them find the correct environment and role.

Next steps

Based on experience providing employability training, Action for Kids is developing a proposal to open a free college with a focus on preparation for employment and independent living for students aged 16 – 19 with SEND.

More information

Find out more about Action For Kids on their website: www.actionforkids.org or view these videos on Education and Training or Life and Work.