26/06/2018

Employment Engagement Event

The latest figures released by Mencap show that there are 1.4 million people in the UK with a learning difficulty. Historically, there has always been a significant gap between the proportion of disabled people in work compared with non-disabled people, yet people with disabilities make great workers. Evidence suggests that employees with a learning disability stay with one employer for a longer time and take less time off work.

The Building Bridges programme is jointly funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery via the Big Lottery Fund. The programme supports people across Swindon and Wiltshire who are facing significant challenges in being able to develop their skills, access education or move towards the world of work.

MP for South Swindon Robert Buckland and Swindon Borough Council have organised an Employment Engagement Event, which will be held in the Sir Daniel Gooch Theatre at STEAM Museum on Friday, 29th June from 10.00am – 12noon.

Robert explained: “Everybody should have the chance to succeed in their chosen career and having a disability should not prevent that, so I have joined forces with Building Bridges programme partner Swindon Borough Council, to encourage more local employers to recruit people with learning difficulties. Swindon and Wiltshire has a wealth of people with valuable skills, abilities and potential who are being overlooked because employers are focusing on the barriers they face rather than the skills and attributes they could bring to the workplace. The Building Bridges programme is working to change this by offering free support to local employers. This includes explorative employment/ work experience discussions, face to face meetings to better understand business requirements, introductions to appropriate candidates, practical support with any agreed reasonable adjustments, HR advice with access to specialist support agencies and support and guidance in becoming certified in employer recognition schemes.”

Cllr Brian Ford, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults, said: “The Council’s Supported Employment Team are a part of the Building Bridges programme which supports people across Swindon and Wiltshire who are facing significant challenges in being able to develop their skills, access education or move towards the world of work. We were only too happy to support this event as it provides us with a great opportunity to talk to local employers about the benefits of working with individuals with a disability or long-term health problems. It also gives businesses the chance to develop their future workforce and build a ‘talent pool’ to assist with succession planning. We can offer support to these businesses every step of the way.”

Pluss, a Social Enterprise that supports thousands of people with disabilities each year to find work and achieve a career will also be at the event. Along with Disability Experts, a local community interest company who support people with disabilities and long-term health conditions to live as independently as possible.

If you are a local employer, large or small and you would like to attend this event, please get in touch by emailing robert.buckland.mp@parliament.uk

For more information about the Building Bridges programme in Swindon and Wiltshire visit: www.buildingbridgessw.org.uk

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