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Minister for Children and Families, Sarah Teather visits Havering College

PUBLISHED: 18:49 27 June 2012 | UPDATED: 09:27 28 June 2012

Sarah Teather Minster for children and families meets Pat Brennan-Barrett and Jennt Robert at Havering College of Further and Higher education

Sarah Teather Minster for children and families meets Pat Brennan-Barrett and Jennt Robert at Havering College of Further and Higher education

Archant

Havering College had a special visit from the minister for children and families as part of a project to get young people with special needs into paid work.

Sarah Teather stopped off at the college’s Quarles Campus in Tring Gardens, Harold Hill on Wednesday June 27 (today).

Ms Teather said: “This is about helping young people with complex need learn the skills they need for the workplace within a real job situation.”

The Lib Dem MP spent the time finding out about the Realistic Oppertunities for Supported Employment Project (Rose Project) at the college, a supported learning programme for young adults with specia needs.

She spoke to adults who had benefited from the project and the staff who help to run it.

The visit was part of plans to trial supported internships at 15 colleges in England for people aged 16 to 25 who have complex learning difficulties or disabilities.

The programme is then set to be adopted by all further education college from September 2013.

Ms Teather said: “We have to be more ambitious and tap into huge potential in people with learning needs.

“We can’t leave the most vulnerable on the scrapheap without a way of getting a job and being able to live as independently as they can.

“With appropirate mentoring, even young people with complex needs can shine in a successful business.”

The project, which is being funded with £3 million from the Department for Education will provide a learning programme at an employer, like a restaurant, library or clothes retailer that is tailored to the needs of the young person.

It is hoped that it will give them the skills they need for the job and break down negative attitudes.

Jenny Carr, the programme manager for the Realistic Oppertunities for Supported Employment (ROSE) project said: “We are passionate about the work that we do because we see how life changing this is for our clients who want the same opportunity as others to have jobs and develop their own independence. The benefits to businesses are also immense as the employers we already work with will happily testify.”

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