Welcome to the Real Opportunities Project Website.

The Regional SEN Transition to Employment Initiative, (also known as Real Opportunities), was a project that worked with young people aged 14-19 years old with a Learning Disability, Severe and Complex Needs or an Autistic Spectrum Disorder to help them plan for the future and become as independent as possible in their adult lives.

Real Opportunities was delivered between September 2010 and September 2014.  Supported by the European Social Fund, the project was based in 9 local authorities in South Wales: Caerphilly, Bridgend, Carmarthenshire, Merthyr, Pembrokeshire, Neath Port Talbot, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Swansea, and Torfaen.

Other agencies delivering aspects of the project were: Elite Supported Employment Agency, Mencap Cymru, Remploy working with the National Autistic Society, Learning Disability Wales and the Welsh Centre of Learning Disabilities at Cardiff University.

Using a person centred approach, the project worked closely with young people, their families and professionals, supporting the young people to plan for their future, increase their confidence and skills, take part in a wide range of community based activities and accredited courses.  It enabled 1,766 young people with a learning disability/ASD to make positive changes to their lives, and trained 1,096 non-disabled young people to offer peer mentor support.

In preparing the young people for work, 751 employers provided 1,210 work experience placements.

Working together with the local authorities of Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent, Carmarthenshire, Merthyr, Pembrokeshire, Neath Port Talbot, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Swansea, and Torfaen, Caerphilly County Borough Council is currently in the process of applying for European funding to re-instate the project.

This web site will be updated when there is any news.

In the meantime, if you are a young person, parent/carer or professional who is interested to find out more, please click on the relevant tab above.


Launch of the Real Opportunities Impact Report 2014

The Real Opportunities project impact report will be launched today, 11 December at the Senedd.

Real Opportunities Impact of Supported Work Experience Report 2014

The Welsh Centre for Learning Disabilities conducted a 3 year study into the impact supported work experience has on young people with intellectual disabilities, their families and employers. The evaluation report is now available to download.

Real Opportunities, Real Lives 2014

Real Opportunities held its 3rd annual conference "Real Opportunities, Real Lives" on June 5th 2014.

Support for Real Opportunities

Mrs V Jones, Head of the ASD Learning Support Centre at Cwmtawe Community School, Swansea, writes a letter in support of the work of the Real Opportunities project.

March & April 2014 Real Opportunities Newsletters are now availble.

March & April 2014 Real Opportunities Newsletters now available on our website..