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Youngsters Brief MPs on Benefits of Supported Internships

Young people with learning disability and/or autism from around the UK have spoken to politicians and policymakers about the contribution they want to make to the country’s workforce.


The 70 youngsters visited Parliament as part of a wider day of action around the country to showcase the contribution that young adults with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) can make to the workforce, especially through Supported Internship programmes.


Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, and Lisa Cameron MP Chair of Disability APPG, were among MPs who heard first-hand about how Supported Internships – work-based study programmes for 16 to 24-year-olds with SEND, who have an education, health and care (EHC) plan – dramatically change the employment outcomes for those who take part.


DFN Project SEARCH figures show that 70% of people who complete their supported internships go on to secure full-time employment, thanks to the skills and confidence they gain through the programme.


In stark contrast, official national figures show that less than 5% of young adults with a learning disability or autism spectrum condition are ordinarily in full-time employment in England.


DFN Project SEARCH hopes that the conversations in Parliament will help raise awareness of the huge impact that supported internships can have not only on the lives of the interns who take part but, on the employers, and wider society too.


They also hope to challenge the misconceptions that all-too-often unfairly shape the lives of young adults with a learning disability and/or autism across the UK and encourage employers to recognise the social and economic value of employing young adults with SEND and take active steps to improve inclusivity and diversity in the workforce.


To find out more about Supported Internships visit






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