The Kent employment centre helping young people with SEND become 'valued members of the workforce'

Forward2Employment has been rated 'Good'
-Credit: (Image: Forward2Employment)

An employment centre supporting young people with special educational needs and disabilities in Medway, Kent and the South East to find a permanent job has been rated good following its first full inspection. Education watchdog Ofsted visited Forward2Employment (F2E) in Rochester in March and has recently published its report.

The Kent centre, which works alongside Fortis Trust, provides supported Internships for young adults. It has been praised for helping interns receive "significant support" to develop employment skills and practice.

The Ofsted inspection team said: "Supported interns become increasingly confident to work with members of the community and work colleagues. As a result, they become valued members of the workforce.

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"Supported interns greatly value the training and high levels of support they receive from staff at F2E and the employers they work with. They appreciate the carefully chosen work placements where they rightly relish the opportunity to acquire valuable workplace skills and knowledge to enable them to meet their aspirations to gain a permanent role.”

A spokesperson for Forward2Employment said they are committed to excellence in everything that they do. They said: "While our dedication is not solely for the approval of Ofsted, it is gratifying to have our work and accomplishments recognised by them."

Ofsted highlighted its work in helping interns feel safe. Inspectors said: "Supported interns know how to keep safe in the workplace. They receive appropriate guidance and training in safe working practices, such as wearing personal protective

“Supported interns become increasingly respectful and considerate to others due to their training. They learn to celebrate the diverse communities they work and study in, such as by studying black history, Down syndrome awareness and hidden disabilities. They become more considerate of those in their communities as a result.”

Fortis Trust, oversees Bradfields Academy and Forward2Employment. Bradfields Academy, renowned for its innovative approach to special education, has consistently received 'Outstanding' ratings from Ofsted and caters to more than 300 students aged 4-19 years old with complex learning needs, including MLD and ASD. It is also a beneficiary of the DfE’s Schools Rebuilding programme, poised for expansion to accommodate up to 444 students by 2025.

Fortis Trust successful bid to the Department for Education to establish a new all-through Special Educational Needs (SEN) Free School in Whitstable, Kent. This initiative is part of the government’s Safety Valve programme aimed at addressing high-needs deficits and ensuring adequate provision for young people with SEND.

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