Mayor of West Yorkshire launches new initiative to help businesses and education collaborate

Young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in West Yorkshire are to benefit from new collaborations between education and employment to help inspire and develop a diverse workforce.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 9th June 2022, 4:30 pm

Tracy Brabin, The Mayor of West Yorkshire, has launched a new toolkit from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to help schools, colleges and businesses collaborate to raise aspirations of young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and to help businesses benefit from a diverse workforce.

The event held in May at Ponderosa Zoo in Heckmondwike brought together representatives from some of West Yorkshire’s key businesses, schools and colleges including speakers from Oastlers School and Lloyds Banking Group.

Attendees heard why links between business and education were specifically so important for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) who are underrepresented in the workforce.

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Tracy Brabin, The Mayor of West Yorkshire

The attendees were shown how to use the toolkits to bring new collaborations and opportunities to life and had the opportunity to network and meet new contacts.

Ms Brabin explained: “As Mayor, I will make sure young people have equality of access to high quality careers provision and that employers increase the opportunities for young people with special educational needs and disabilities, furthering equality, and diversity of West Yorkshire workforces.

“This is why I’m pleased to launch our Employer Engagement Toolkit which will give schools and employers the tips, resources and ideas to work together and help young people with SEND discover and experience aspects of work.” 

Lyndsey Brown, Headteacher from Oastlers School in Bradford said: “Engaging with employers is a crucial aspect of our strategy to improve the life chances of the young people in our school community.

“Having links to the LEP and SEND careers hub network is invaluable for sharing good practice, connecting to employers and having like-minded professionals to help support our young people.”

To find out more about the initiative and to download the resources visit: