Disability Confident

Read the Disability Confident report HERE 

 

By Ellie Moseley

This article was first written around a year ago. I’d been to several regional and local Disability Confident events led Ellie Moseleyby the DWP which focused on building the confidence of employers when recruiting people with disabilities. A great piece of work that continues today. However, I wondered about the confidence of the actual job seekers. In our team we were dealing with many enquiries and referrals each week and it was clear from these conversations that even people with relatively manageable health issues felt themselves to be unemployable. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to work; they had been out of the work place for so long that they didn’t believe they had anything they could offer an employer and so had closed down to the idea. This was perhaps compounded by the lack of touch points with services that feel comfortable talking about employment as a valid progression route, or even used as a rehabilitation tool in its own right.

Since that time we have had an increased focus within our team and I am pleased to say that we have been making inroads at both a frontline and strategic level for the health and work agenda. Here are just some of the great things we have achieved;

  • Andrea Gilbert has been helping to design the new national DWP Health and Work programme.
  • Jennie has been working with the local physiotherapy team and with the stroke rehabilitation service to offer careers advice and guidance to those who want to return to the work place.
  • Bev continues her great work on the Winter Wellbeing agenda alongside the NHS and public health, supporting people out of fuel poverty.
  • Ellie has kept work and health on the agenda at strategic meetings and has been advising a local occupational therapy service on how best to link up their OT services with skills and employment progressions.
  • The whole team was nominated and won a Highly Commended award from the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative. This was awarded in recognition of their highly inclusive HR practices.
  • Other work includes multi agency training to build links between health and work agencies, supporting health visitors who come to us for advice, assisting the CAMHS transformation and getting involved with plans to set up a wellbeing and recovery college in Cornwall.

So, over the last year we have seen an increased focus on support for disabled jobseekers and this is echoed nationally. I feel there is still work to be done around raising aspirations and it is my hope that an update of this article will remind us all of how we can best support our customers to progress into work, if it is right for them.

If you want to know more about this, or any of the other Health and Work related item we are involved in please email emoseley1@cornwall.gov.uk .

 

You may also be interested to the look at the 18 thematic resource sheets we have developed. You can find these HERE.