16 November 2016
Sheffield launches campaign to get more disabled people into work.
Sheffield City Council is working with businesses across the city as part of a new campaign ‘Opportunity Sheffield, Disability Confident’ to generate new job opportunities for disabled people in the city.
The campaign will help employers recruit talented local people with disabilities and provide a free one-stop shop for advice and guidance for employers.
To learn more, register your support and access expert support, advice and funding employers should sign up here or phone 01142 760039.
Councillor Leigh Bramall, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Business and Economy said: “Leading businesses are already realising that disability need not be a barrier to recruiting highly motivated and talented individuals. We want our new campaign to ensure that all businesses understand this, as well as helping businesses become more aware of the help and support the Council and local partners can provide in overcoming any issues.
“If I had any advice to organisations that have been hesitant to take on anyone with a disability, I would say, let them have a go first. Maybe give them some work experience and see how it goes. Taking on people with disabilities certainly works for companies for Willmott Dixon, so if it can work here it can work anywhere. And in all honesty, from my experience you will get more out of taking on someone with a disability than they will, it’s just so rewarding.”
Case Study: Willmott Dixon
Established in 1852, Willmott Dixon is a privately owned company and is one of the biggest construction and property organisations in the UK. For the past 10 years, the organisation has run an ‘Opening Doors programme’ providing employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
Leigh Garbutt, Regional Customer & Community Manager at Willmott Dixon Partnerships said:
“We started our Opening Doors programme ten years ago, as we realised that young people were struggling to get into work when leaving school. In the first year, we took on 91 young people and soon realised that we needed to do the same for people with disabilities who were also struggling to enter world of work.
“Our programme has worked really well and we have taken on 5 people with disabilities. The joy that these particular employees have brought to our organisation has really outweighed any potential financial barriers. It’s so lovely to take on a young person who genuinely wants to learn and who really wants to be there. We’ve found that those people with disabilities work so hard, as they feel like they have a purpose by working.
“As well as taking on members of staff in our company, we also run programmes with local schools and local authorities. In fact, we’ve just finished a community project working at a Special Needs school in Rotherham where we gave 8 students there work experience. This project involved our young apprentices building and decorating a new part of the school, which will now be used to teach students how to live independently.
“I realise that some employers may have concerns about the costs and potential barriers, but in my opinion, there are only barriers if you as a company are making them. We have had to adapt a workstation for one of our employees who couldn’t use her hands, but the amount of work she puts in and her ambition has certainly overridden any of those one-off financial costs.
“If I had any advice to organisations that have been hesitant to take on anyone with a disability, I would say, let them have a go first. May be give them some work experience and see how it goes. Taking on people with disabilities certainly works for Willmott Dixon, so if it can work here it can work anywhere. And in all honesty, from my experience you will get more out of taking on someone with a disability than they will, it’s just so rewarding.”