Right2Work and Employers
A growing number of leading businesses have demonstrated the benefits of building an inclusive approach to people with disabilities as employees and customers.
However, recent evidence supports the view that many businesses have yet to reap the potential rewards. Many business managers including public sector and non profit organisations remain unconvinced that disabled people can improve their overall business performance.
The UK government has pledged to reduce the disability employment gap of 30.1% between non disabled and disabled people, representing over 2 million people. The national Disability Confident campaign, led by local MP’s, has started the conversation with local employers about employing more disabled people.
Employer Engagement and Support
Many employers are anxious about employing someone with a disability. Traditional recruitment techniques can be overly rigid. The employers that we currently work with often use working interviews, which allow individuals to demonstrate their skills in the workplace and allow the employer to gather the type of evidence that a formal interview seeks to capture.
Generally, our aim is to ‘place and train’ rather than ‘train then place’. This means that a job seeker starts, learns and progresses in a working environment from day one. We know that most people learn skills more effectively in situ, rather than in artificial environments. By doing this we overcome the “job readiness” obstruction where people can get stuck in permanent training. From the beginning, an individual is part of the company which we see as a great advantage.
A job analysis is usually undertaken to examine any assumptions made in the job description. Although it is common practice for employers to set out the basics of a job for new recruits, it is not common for a details analysis of the job and environment to be available. We look at all aspects of the job and the work place, including health and safety, to make sure we have the right job for the right candidate.
Our team will discuss whether extra assistance or alterations to working practice or the environment are required. This helps to produce a better job match. The job analysis might point towards ways of carving together parts of job descriptions that suit the workers’ talents, or creating new job descriptions that suit the worker and are cost effective for the employer. Most adjustments are reasonable and inexpensive.
It is important to offer appropriate levels of support and encourage the involvement of the employer and co-workers. Right2Work can support the individual’s induction and provide on-site training support where needed. We offer employers advice, guidance and a one to one job coaching to employees that are struggling with their job due to changes in job role or changes in the tasks that are being undertaken. We will complete a full task analysis of the worker’s role and work alongside them providing support and guidance to ensure that the required tasks are completed as per the employer’s requirements.
Individual development plans are used to plan and monitor the employer’s learning. Targets include encouraging the social inclusion of the worker within the workplace.
We identify the most ‘natural’ ways in which we can support people in employment, working in partnership with employers and all interested parties. We can also use intensive and personalised approaches based on Bloom’s taxonomy of learning and training in Systematic Instruction.
Not all workers will reach the productivity, quality and social standards set by the employer. When all learning strategies have been exhausted and the data shows no further improvement, discussions will be needed to seek a more suitable job match with the existing employer, or to find a different job with a different employer.
Let’s Start the Conversation
In Cumbria, we want to go a step further and work with local businesses to commit to specific actions that will lead to increased opportunities for local disabled people who wish to work and improve their lives.
To support Cumbrian businesses we are proposing a Cumbria Committee for the Employment of Disabled People (CCEDP) who will:
- Develop and lead a disability employment strategy for businesses throughout Cumbria.
- Share best practice with employers to encourage recruitment practices that increase job opportunities for disabled people.
- Consider the national disability employment strategy and provide feedback through elected members.
- Promote the disability employment agenda through local business networks and local employer partnerships.
- Involve statutory, voluntary and trade union bodies to ensure consistency in all disability employment initiatives.
- Consider introducing a “Disability Employer of the Year” award in association with CN Business Awards.
Look out for a Let’s Start the Conversation event near you – we’ll be publishing the latest updates here.