Health Service Focus

24.01.20

Ofsted: Work placements for young adults with disabilities rated 'Good'

A work placement scheme helping young people with disabilities has earned an overall ‘good’ rating in its first Ofsted report.

Health Education England’s programme, Project Choice, supports people with disabilities, learning difficulties and autism aged 16-24 to gain vital work experience within healthcare settings and other NHS partner organisations.

A tailor-made placement is designed for the individual, with personal skills matched to employment options to ensure the best outcome to boost independence and get them ready for the working world.

The Ofsted report, published yesterday (Jan 23) gave an ‘outstanding’ rating for the scheme’s behaviour and attitude categories. Quality of education, personal development, leadership & management and provision for learners with high needs were all rated as ‘good’.

Health Education England and NHS managers have been commended for forming high-effective partnerships which instil confidence in interns and says learners benefit from “an ethos of social inclusion and equality of opportunity.”

Going on to say: “They love going to work, and their enjoyment of life improves as they rightly feel that they are being prepared well for a safe and secure future.” 

Project Choice is funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and managers work closely with nine NHS Trusts and local authority partners. 

Supported internships have helped more than 250 young adults since 2017, largely in hospitals across the north east and Yorkshire, with 128 more participants in the current academic year. OF these, around 80% have go into employment, volunteering roles or further education so far.

Laura Roberts, director of skills development & participation, Health Education England, said: 

“I am incredibly proud of what the Project Choice team has achieved through its dedication and skill. 

“By co-operating closely with partners, we have already created hundreds of learning opportunities for young people, and we will continue to strive to improve what is already a high-quality, life-changing programme.” 

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