Last week, our head of press and appeals Sarah Bartlett and I met the Shadow Minister for Disabled People Kate Green MP to talk about supporting young disabled people to live more independently, and to move successfully into the workplace.

We were joined by newly titled news correspondent David Allkins, who interviewed the Shadow Minister on her thoughts about this issue.

We informed the Shadow Minister about how we work with young people in transition and track people’s progress around independent living, money management, health and social skills, and have seen huge leaps in their skills and confidence.

Increasing independence and connecting young people with employers

We work with young disabled people to give them the same experience of further education and moving into employment as everyone else, and we have some wonderful success stories.

The crux of our support involves enabling these people to develop core and vocational skills that will boost their employability, while also linking them with employers to give them the best possible chance of getting a paid job when they leave education.

At United Response, experience has taught us that it is crucial to embed aspiration early in a young person’s life. This aspiration must be coupled with the support that a young person needs to gain skills, confidence and links to employers. In this way, people are far more likely to become more independent, develop connections in their community and move into the workplace in the same way as everyone else.

Shared goals

As always, we had a very positive and productive meeting. We are very pleased that the Shadow Minister clearly shares our goals of promoting independence and employment among young disabled people.

By supporting young people in this way, United Response not only promotes independence and employment, but also empowers people to have access to the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

We hope to continue the dialogue with the Shadow Minister to keep supported employment – particularly for young disabled people – on the agenda.

Watch David Allkins’ interview with the Shadow Minister

John JC Cooper, campaigns and public affairs manager.