Our pilot programme for young people with mild to moderate learning disabilities started in September 2017 and is operating in Islington and Kent, with 90 students enrolled.

DFN-MoveForward provides young people on the programme with long-term specialised support, to enable them to move into sustained paid work. It starts in Year 9 and continues beyond entry into paid employment, ensuring students are supported on every step of their journey into work.

This half-term, young people are enjoying lots of exciting business insight days, one of the key features of the programme. These days offer the students the chance to visit different employers, learn more about the career options on offer, and find out what skills, experience and qualifications are needed to get a job.

DFN-MoveForward staff have organised an exciting and mixed programme of insight days to cover a broad range of careers that students have shown an interest in.

Young people who are thinking about working in the media will be visiting the BBC Radio 1 and 1 Extra studies at the BBC headquarters in Oxford Street, central London. They’ll find out about the different roles in radio, have a career talk and Q&A  and get a tour of the studios.

Also lined up is a trip to The Mill, an Oscar-winning film, animation and special effects company, again based in central London but with offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. The company won its Oscar for work on Gladiator and has also worked on the Harry Potter films and gaming including Fifa 18.

Young people will get a careers talk covering positions across the company including finance, creative and marketing, and learn about internships and runner roles and how to apply. There will also be a session on virtual reality and a tour.

For those interested in careers in art and design The Goldsmiths Centre has created a special jewellery making session tailored to the needs and interests of the young people. They will get the chance to make a pendant or letter key chain.

A number of DFN-MoveForward young people are thinking of working with animals so we have arranged an insight day at the headquarters of The Dogs Trust. There will be an activity on animal welfare and a talk on the different roles at the charity.

Finally, an insight day at Fitness First will support the students who are keen to explore opportunities in the leisure industry. There will  be a tour of the club, a chance to design a workout aimed at young people and the opportunity to learn about the variety of jobs in the sector.

Vincenza De Falco, one of the DFN-MoveForward coaches, said: “The networks and contacts that we have at ThinkForward have helped us to put together a great programme for half-term and these are opportunities that the young people wouldn’t have if they were not on DFN-Move-Forward.

“Insight days are all about opening up opportunities and exposing students to careers that they might be interested in, and also showing them different careers. Many of these young people are only familiar with school and college life, so getting insights into the working environment more generally are really useful.  It’s also really motivating for them.”

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