Supporting Young People with SEND: Business Brunch Invites Collaboration for Change

Northamptonshire membership organisation NNBN is backing a business brunch inviting employers to learn more about a potential solution to future employment challenges.

NNBN is encouraging local employers and senior leadership of local and regional employers to join the business brunch being organised by West Northamptonshire Council and West Northamptonshire SEND partnership with the agenda centred around an imperative dialogue on employment opportunities for young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND).

This initiative follows the partnership’s recent unveiling of a comprehensive three-year SEND and Alternative Provision Strategy. This strategic roadmap outlines the necessary enhancements required within the partnership-wide system to support young people with SEND or those in Alternative Provision over the next triennial period. Notably, within this blueprint, one of the pivotal areas of focus is ‘Preparation for Adulthood,’ with employment emerging as a key aspect.

The sobering reality facing this community highlights the urgency of action. Current employment statistics for people with SEND fall significantly below acceptable levels:

– 86% express a desire to work.

– However, only 4.7% are presently employed nationwide.

– In West Northamptonshire, a mere 2.5% of individuals with SEND are in employment.

The West Northamptonshire SEND Partnership acknowledges this disparity and is resolutely committed to effecting change, recognising the pivotal role of the business sector in driving this transformation. Acknowledging the need for an inclusive workforce that mirrors the diversity of the community, they seek to engage the business community in shaping a more equitable future.

NNBN Director Simon Cox said “Businesses and employers should come along to the Business Brunch to learn more about the potential opportunities for them when it comes to employing young people with SEND. We, as an organisation, are keen to ensure local businesses and employers are aware of events, such as the Business Brunch being organised.”

Cllr Fiona Baker, Cabinet Member for Children, Families, Education and Skills at WNC said: “This Business Brunch is great step forward in discussions on how together, we can provide better employment opportunities for our young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Our young people are a real asset to employers and it is vital that we make sure there are good, positive opportunities for them to help them thrive. We can only make this happen by working together, so I really do encourage businesses and employers to please book themselves on the event to share their thoughts, ideas and feedback.”

The Business Brunch taking place on Thursday 18th January from 10 am to 12 pm at the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, will provide a comprehensive situational update on SEND employment across West Northamptonshire. Importantly, it aims to collaborate with esteemed business leaders, such as yourself, to identify the necessary support and assurances to propel this change forward.

To register, please use the link here

For additional queries or information, please email to Olivia Bray at

Your presence and collaborative effort in January will be pivotal in shaping a brighter future for young people with SEND in West Northamptonshire. Let’s work together to make a difference!