International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPWD) on 3 December celebrated the achievements and contributions of people with disabilities, while seeking to increase public awareness of the social and environmental barriers which stand in their way.

Two people from Wiltshire who struggled to find employment because of health impairments have told their stories to highlight how support to overcome barriers has helped them secure jobs.

Hannah Lawson from Salisbury and Ken Cox from Swindon have been supported throughout their journey by a Change Coach at employment specialist Seetec Pluss.

With the 2019 International Day of People with Disabilities looking towards an accessible future, Hannah explained how her Aspergers syndrome means she needs an understanding employer. She likes to have a routine, needs extra time to learn different jobs and finds large crowds difficult.

Due to her anxiety and lack of confidence, Hannah was struggling at job interviews. After being referred to Seetec Pluss, her Change Coach worked with her to identify opportunities to mix with others and gain confidence, while signing up to online customer service and retail courses to gain qualifications.

Hannah secured a part-time job at Poundland in Trowbridge, where she now works on the tills and helps keep the shop tidy. She said: “Getting paid work has increased my confidence and social skills, and I really enjoy chatting and interacting with the customers.

“It’s nice to have an income, I have increased my hours and I am off benefits – it’s such a good feeling! Seetec Pluss has been very supportive, it was good to meet up on a regular basis and discuss my issues. I found my confidence in working with Seetec Pluss.”

Her employer is delighted with Hannah’s development and recommends the Government’s Disability Confident scheme to other employers. Hannah attended a Disability Confident event in Melksham, where she met her local MP Michelle Donelan (pictured with Hannah) and spoke in public about her journey.

Like Hannah, Ken Cox from Swindon joined the Work and Health Programme, which is co-financed by the European Social Fund. Ken’s Change Coach from Seetec Pluss initially supported him on a Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) to help him regain his labouring qualification and provided his Personal Protective Equipment.

Ken suffered from depression, anxiety and type 2 diabetes and was recovering from drug dependency. He said: “These conditions affect my day-to-day life, I didn’t want to think about it too much and I used my drug dependency to escape it.”


He was also experiencing poverty, and Seetec Pluss helped him by funding training, mobile phone credit and renewing his driving licence. After helping Ken find work, Seetec Pluss also covered his initial travel expenses and helped him to pay his rent while he found his feet again.

Ken said: “Seetec Pluss and the Work and Health Programme helped me by funding the essentials I needed to get back to work. I am now more confident in standing up for myself and I have achieved a four-month working contract with a sub-contractor of BAE Systems.

“After being offered a job, I felt elated and euphoric. Working has changed my life and having money has changed my life by enabling me to take my family out for dinner, giving my daughters’ holiday spending money, saving for Christmas and paying my rent.”

Ken said his Change Coach had become his drug rehabilitation mentor, helping him to continue to fight his addiction.

Paul Hughes, Seetec Pluss Operations Director said: “We work with individuals and employers to support and empower people to move into and progress in employment.

“By focusing on Hannah and Ken’s strengths, we were able to to raise their aspirations and help them to overcome their barriers to work and demonstrate the skills that employers are looking for.”

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The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

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FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

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In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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