government’s new support service for young people, Connexions, will be extended
to disabled people and people with learning difficulties up to the age of 25.
Ivan Lewis, minister for young people and
learning, announced the extension at last week’s Association for Supported
Employment conference, The Perfect Dawn.
"We are very much aware that many young
people with learning difficulties or disabilities experience delays in their
education as a result of their condition," he said.
Connexions will also work closely with local
skills councils and Jobcentre Plus disability services teams to enable clients
to progress to an adult service at the right time.
Lewis acknowledged concerns about meeting the
needs of young disabled people when they return home from out-of-borough
provision. He said it was vital for the Connexions partnerships in both areas
to work closely with each other.
"For young people at a residential
specialist college it is important that Connexions and the LSC work together
with learning providers, social services departments, health authorities and
other support agencies," he added.
Connexions services for 13 to 19-year-olds
went live at the start of the month in 27 out of the 47 planned areas. The
service aims to provide advice, guidance and access to personal development
opportunities to help young people make the transition to adulthood and working
Connexions links the work of six government
departments and their agencies and organisations on the ground, together with
private and voluntary sector groups and youth and careers services.