A unique exhibition is opening in Manchester Central Library with the aim of changing attitudes towards disability-inclusive workplaces in the Greater Manchester area.

The exhibition is the culmination of the Futures for All project which Big Ideas was commissioned to create by the Greater Manchester Apprenticeship & Careers Service. 

Futures for All is a transformative programme with employability skills for young people across Greater Manchester with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) at its core. The programme empowers young people to lift their aspirations and invites employers to recognise and celebrate the value of a diverse workforce inclusive of young people from SEND settings.

At the exhibition the public will have their first opportunity to watch nine short films co-produced with alumni from SEND schools across Greater Manchester who are thriving in the workplace. 

From retail to healthcare, and hospitality to digital marketing, the Futures for All films celebrate their achievements and show the universal benefits of meaningful employment. 

Meet Bilal, whose administration work gives him the means to live independently; the irrepressible Jamie, who is transformed from an alienated teenager to the life and soul of his catering team; Megan, thriving in a leadership role in retail; and Amber whose disability advocacy is the heart of the Arts charity where she works.  

Inspired by the films, young people in Greater Manchester’s SEND schools took part in a Futures for All Festival during which they developed soft skills needed for the workplace with a focus on communication, confidence, creativity and cooperation. They also created artworks in clay and fabric expressing their workplace aspirations and potential – also on display at the Library.

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