Removing Barriers is a one-year programme aimed at giving jobs to young people with special educational needs.

The 'Removing Barriers' project aim, completed in October 2023, aimed to, and succeeded in raising the number of locally-based employers who are confident about taking on and supporting young people aged 16 to 19 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and up to aged 25 for those with an EHCP.

Dorset Careers Hub, which is funded by Dorset LEP and The Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC) in partnership with BCP Council and Dorset Council, convened a range of businesses, education providers, local authority organisations and other partners on the initiative.

Around 150 organisations registered in the Dorset and BCP council areas are already in the government’s Disability Confident Employer scheme but only three are in the top ‘Leader’ tier and seen as making a truly positive difference to diversity and inclusivity.

'Removing Barriers' increased the number of Disability Confident ‘Leaders’ to 5, and progressed another 10 employers through the 3 levels, creating job opportunities for young people, across the county, and beyond.   

The CEC, the national body for careers education, awarded government funding to Dorset Careers Hub to lead and deliver the project. 

In partnership with sendme2work, we worked with 12 local businesses on this fully funded and supported programme, in line with the well-established DWP Programme. With recruitment challenges and labour shortages at an all-time high, it's the perfect time to become fully inclusive to avoid missing out on untapped talent. 

To find out more about how you can join the movement and become Disability Confident, email Andrew Holland at