Thousands of people across Devon are overlooked for jobs because of mental health conditions, learning disabilities and autism.
They’re skilled and ready to work.
Employing a person with a disability is easier than you think.
Many people with disabilities do not require additional assistance to do their job.
The project is called the “Be Ready” Employer Hub (we are the implementation phase of the awareness-raising campaign run by Devon County Council last year called Ready When You Are).
It is a two year project (started in August) aimed at Devon-based businesses, charities and social enterprises to help them understand and build on the benefits of employing (and keeping) people with disabilities or long term health conditions.
The service will be launched in February 2020 and will be free to use (as it is jointly funded by Devon County Council/Learn Devon and the Department for Work and Pensions).
It will comprise a range of services, including:
- On-line knowledge resource ‘hub’ providing all the information and links for employers who are ready to take the next step but not sure where to start.
- Training – either delivered on-site (for larger organisations) or as a group bringing together smaller businesses
- A telephone help-line (call-back) service for specific questions about any aspect of disability or long term health condition
- Peer networking groups for employers to share experience, ideas and have open and honest conversations about employing individuals with a disability
- Opportunities to achieve the different levels of the Disability Confident scheme which is often seen as a ‘Badge of Honour’ by many disabled people when making buying decisions).
The focus (‘voice’) of the service will be on the ability and talent of individuals (rather than the disability or health condition) to highlight the business benefits of valuing difference and diversity. This includes how to tap into the “Purple £” (the estimated annual spend of disabled people, their family and friends worth c. £249 billion in the UK) as a potential market.
Our current focus is to ensure the proposed services match what employers need, so as we are still in the ‘set-up’ phase, we are running a series of focus group events around the county this month:
– 14th in Newton Abbot (9-11am)
– 22nd in Plymouth (9-11am)
– 28th in Barnstaple (2-4pm)
– And currently organising one in Exeter for the first week of December.
These workshops are designed to get feedback from businesses on the proposed services and ideas about what else employers would need.