The Futures for All Exhibition at Manchester Central Library
Work and Skills

Futures For All Exhibition

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

The exhibition includes the premiere of nine films showing the working lives of young people who have graduated from SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) schools in the city-region and 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.

The films include employees such as Bilal, whose administration work gives him the means to live independently, Jamie, who has transformed from an alienated teenager to the life and soul of the kitchen where they are employed, Megan, who is 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 the Futures For All Festival and created artwork expressing their workplace aspirations and potential, which is also on display at Central Library.

Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, GMCA lead for Technical Education and Skills, said: “We want Greater Manchester to be a diverse and inclusive place where every young person has the confidence and skills to thrive in the workplace. Bilal, Jamie, Megan, Amber and all the young people in these films have shown the benefits of meaningful employment and disability-inclusive workplaces – both to staff and employers as well. 

“The young people in these films should be celebrated and I know they’re already inspiring other young people who have graduated from SEND schools in Greater Manchester.”

Joanne Roney, Greater Manchester’s chief executive lead for skills and apprenticeships, said: “This exhibition highlights the importance of meaningful employment for all in Greater Manchester and the crucial work the Futures For All programme achieves. The young people in these films are an inspiration to us all and it’s great that this will be put on display for the public.

“We are very pleased to be hosting this incredibly important exhibition in Manchester.”

Commissioned by Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), Futures For All is a transformative programme. Employers and the public are invited to visit the library, view the exhibition and commit to a disability-confident future. Visitors are also encouraged to participate by taking a selfie and posting it using the hashtag #FuturesForAll.

  • September 4 - September 29
  • Open each day
  • Lower Ground Floor, Manchester Central Library, St Peter's Square, Manchester M2 5PD
  • Time: 9-5pm
  • Cost: Free

If you’re an employer in Greater Manchester and want to be involved in the Futures For All campaign, find out how you can get involved by emailing the Greater Manchester Careers Hub at


GMCA: Futures For All is an employability skills programme for young people across Greater Manchester with SEND, that empowers employers to recognise and celebrate the value of a diverse workforce inclusive of young people from the SEND schools and settings.

The exhibition screens the series of short films co-produced with alumni from SEND schools across Greater Manchester. These films explore a day in the life of each young person working in different jobs across Greater Manchester.

Young people in SEND school settings were shown these inspiring films and took part in an employability festival to support them to develop the soft skills needed for the workplace including communication, confidence, creativity and cooperation. They also took part in creative workshops using clay and fabric to visualise careers. This exhibition showcases their artwork alongside the films that inspired them.

Big Ideas

Big Ideas specialises in innovative youth engagement to create lasting change. Inclusion is at the heart of our work. Our funders include the UK government Office for Veterans Affairs, Greater London Authority, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the Royal Commission of 1851, the Premier League and the Jewish Lads and Girls Brigade.

Article Published: 08/09/2023 12:04 PM