Are you maximising your workforce’s potential? Or are they tied up with everyday tasks? A partnership that supports disabled people into work could be the solution.
An organisation which offers adults with disabilities a potentially life-changing route into work, is urging businesses to support their efforts.
PRS Inclusion Services,which offers learning and day services for people with disabilities in the North East, wants businesses to work in partnership with them, and offer employment placements.
And they have called on businesses to focus on “capability not disability” and to help people into the workplace where they can contribute while gaining vital new skills.
PRS Inclusion Services has already created successful work placements in retail, healthcare, food and drink, entertainment and administration by offering a unique employment service matching candidates with disabilities and employers.
The organisation believes practicing skills in the workplace is a great way to develop abilities and build confidence
“We help people with a disability live confidently in the life they choose,” said Pamela Rickman-Seers from the service. “At the heart of our services are confidence, communication and a willingness to learn.
“From life skills to meaningful work opportunities and community investment, we believe in making sustainable futures for the people who use our services.”
PRS Inclusion Services is now calling on more Sunderland businesses to become Partners in Employment.
Positions can be paid or unpaid with flexible hours.
Employers can benefit from skilled, enthusiastic people to help with tasks, hours to suit their needs and designated individual support and on-the-job coaching for candidates for as long as it is needed.
Just some of the roles which could be filled are gardening, food preparation, filing, making drinks, customer service and market research.
Businesses are also offered practical, non-judgemental advice about disability awareness in their company.
“PRS Inclusion Services offers businesses an ancillary service that best utilises their whole workforce,” said Pamela. “Providing work-place analysis, disability equality training and support for both employers and employees.”
She said this resulted in businesses having a diverse workforce and ‘positive community engagement’.
The organisation’s Transition to Employment programme enables adults with disabilities to be ready for work.
It is based around principles of ‘self-determination, individual choice, competitive employment and community inclusion’.
Kevin, 24, wanted to find work experience in the service industry.
He met with PRS, his carers and the Community Learning Disabilities Team to talk about his interests and what support he would need.
Initially, he completed a 12-week core skills programme which focused on building strength and skills, communication, confidence, and adult life skills.
He then chose areas to specialise in for 24 weeks – food and cookery, exercise and wellbeing and art and design.
Having decided to focus on food service, he followed that with a second 24-week programme in customer service, café skills and an introduction to social enterprise.
“The courses match real requirements for work with Kevin’s practical skills, helping him to develop a skills checklist that tells employers exactly what he can do, and gives them all the information they need for his successful work placement,” said Pamela.
Kevin ended up securing a work placement in the café of a local community arts organisation, with continued support from PRS.
Pamela said Transition to Employment allowed people to be as independent as possible by focusing on ‘capability rather than disability’.
This in turn allows them to ‘gain confidence, self-esteem and access new social networks within their own community’.
“We want businesses to partner with us to recognise the skills and abilities adults with disabilities have that will benefit their business,” she added.
To find out how to become a Partner in Employment and the benefits it could bring your business, get in touch with PRS Inclusion Services by calling 0191 454 1010, visit www.prsinclusionservices.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.