PIONEERING work in Swindon to allow people with learning difficulties to make the most of their abilities has inspired European countries to pilot similar schemes.

SEQOL’s supported employment project manager Ann King travelled to Budapest last month, alongside healthcare professionals from ten other nations including France, Portugal and Germany, to discuss how to offer more opportunities to people with disabilities.

While the visit was an opportunity to help centres get up to speed with their Europeans neighbours, it was also the occasion for Ann to discuss the ground-breaking work done at SEQOL through its employment programmes.

“Other countries were particularly interested in SEQOL’s approach to supporting youth employment for students with Aspergers’ through the Skills Factory project,” said the 61-year-old said.

“SEQOL’s expertise in developing social enterprises will hopefully be useful to Germany and Portugal, who are considering this approach to create employment for people considered unemployable after hearing about SEQOL's successes.

“In Hungary disability is a hidden issue. Budapest is a long way behind our expectations here.”

The visit was funded by the European Lifelong Learning Programme.