The Breaking Barriers partnership between charity ENABLE Scotland, Strathclyde University and Scottish Power offers 18-21-year-olds who have learning disabilities the chance to study for a Certificate in Applied Business Skills. The eight-week programme incorporates classroom-based learning, digital and social media marketing skills training, people management and customer service, and an eight-week job placement.
According to ENABLE Scotland, last year only 56 pupils with learning disabilities went on to higher education in Scotland, a little over one in 10 of those leaving school, compared with 40 per cent of all school leavers who go to university.
The charity says that Breaking Barriers is the first programme of its kind for the people it supports. It follows the charity’s award-winning #IncludED in the Main campaign and report which set out a roadmap to inclusion for every pupil who has a learning disability. The report found that 41 per cent of pupils who have learning disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorders felt they did not get support to think about and plan their future when they finished school.
Theresa Shearer, chief executive at ENABLE Scotland said the Breaking Barriers programme is a ground-breaking development for those with aspirations to attend university.