In 2019 approximately half of disabled people were in employment (52%) compared with just over four out of five non-disabled people (82%) (ONS, 2019). Additionally, people with disabilities who are in employment are more likely to be in part-time positions and in elementary roles compared to their peers without a disability.
The impact of Covid-19 has had severe repercussions on a whole generation of young people, in terms of disruption to their education and lack or loss of jobs and training opportunities. The effects of lockdown have already widened the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged pupils, with those who need the most support less likely to be able to access their education and work placement opportunities.
Prior to the pandemic, the Youth Census Survey (Youth Employment UK, 2020) highlighted that young people with additional needs faced additional barriers in receiving information, advice and guidance in terms of career support. This lack of awareness and information unsurprisingly leads to a lack of confidence amongst young people, with 23% of those with additional needs being ‘not very confident’ or ‘not very confident at all’ in being able to move into meaningful employment.