MAJOR employers including Marks and Spencer and John Lewis will be helping to raise the aspirations of young people in Craven with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) at a careers event in Skipton..

The event at Craven College, on Thursday, September 19, is one of a series of similar events organised by North Yorkshire County Council’s Inclusion Team in response to calls from the county’s Flying High group, which represents young people with SEND, for more help in finding out about employment opportunities.

Employers due to take part include Marks and Spencer, John Lewis, Morrisons, Greggs, Flamingo Land theme park, the FT Group, which includes construction companies Walter Thompson and Willoughbys, the NHS and the county council’s recruitment teams. In addition, there will be support organisations to offer information and advice.

Young people can book sessions in advance with employers to learn about what employers there are in the area, how employers recruit, what they look for in staff and how they can support young people with SEND within the workplace. Opportunities include one-year supported internships with the possibility of moving into employment.

Chelsea Tiley, chairman of Flying High, who is currently at college, said: “We wanted more training in employability skills to get people into work, as we didn’t think there was enough of that. I will be going along to one of the events to see what’s on offer.”

County Councillor Patrick Mulligan, \North Yorkshire’s Executive member for education and skills, said: “We’ve listened to what young people with special educational needs have told us and have designed these events to meet their requirements and enable them to raise their aspirations.

“The events will be a great opportunity to talk to major companies about what they can offer, so I urge young people to take advantage of the opportunity, to come along and find out how they might be able to move into work.”

He added: “We’re grateful to the businesses taking part, but are also keen to hear from other employers, particularly smaller businesses, around the county that would be interested in providing opportunities.

“Employment is a wonderful way to help young people with SEND to begin to realise their potential and just how much they may be able to achieve, and there are wider benefits that come from the expanded social network that having work colleagues can bring.”

The event at Craven College on September 19 will take place from 5pm to 8pm. The events are open to any young person with special educational needs or disabilities from Year 7, the first year of secondary school, onwards.

To book a space, visit the website: For more information, email

Other events will take place in Scarborough, Northallerton, Selby and Harrogate.