Belfast Metropolitan College ran a pilot employability programme last year for students with severe learning disabilities, across the City of Belfast. This was the first programme of its kind and it pulled together a range of stakeholders to come together to work in partnership with the shared goal of supporting people with a severe learning difficulty to access paid pensionable employment through developing employability skills.
The first year of The Positive Action Employability Project was a partnership between employer, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (BHSCT) and skills and education provider, Belfast Metropolitan College. The project offered 10 full-time permanent paid jobs in patient care services for people with severe learning difficulties. The Centre for Supported Learning at Belfast Met College and other stakeholders in the project worked closely with the employer to develop a bespoke curriculum and qualification which embedded core competencies for employment within the Health and Social Care sector.
A key aspect of the programme was the need to provide disability awareness training with employers and staff members in order to communicate and respond effectively with someone with a learning difficulty in the workplace. This allowed for greater awareness within the community on barriers faced among people with a learning disability.
To find out more about this inspiring, ground breaking and innovative programme, please watch the video below showcasing the first cohort of the programme.