National award recognises employment services

National award recognises employment services

Reporter:

Glenn Mitchell

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National award recognises employment services

A national award has gone to a Royal Borough service that helps find employment and training opportunities for people with disability.

Ways into Work has collected the BASE (British Association for Supported Employment) Innovation Award for the number of people with learning difficulties in employment.

It has found work for 58 of the 301 people with a learning difficulty registered with the council’s adult social care team.

The borough said the success is thanks to the relationships forged with employers including Legoland in Windsor and the De Beers Research Centre in Belmont Road, Maidenhead.

It liaises with them to identify suitable and jobs and training.

Ways into Work manager Laura Davis, who heads a team of six, collected the award on the council’s behalf.

She was accompanied by colleagues Sandra Briggs, a work experience officer and job coach Tricia Brogan.

Laura said: "Our aim is to break down real or perceived barriers to the inclusion of people with a disability in the workplace.

"We believe in creativity and 'thinking outside the box'."

She added: "One very successful example is the business model presented to Legoland where work trials were used in the recruitment process, giving people with a learning difficulty the opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities in a very practical way. The result was that 22 people were offered contracts of employment across the park in 2012.

"At DeBeers, a traineeship scheme has been started for a candidate with Asperger syndrome."

The award ceremony was in Bristol on September 11.

Ways into Work helps people find paid and voluntary work and training opportunities. Services include CV writing, interview skills, advice on employment benefits, support in the workplace and information on college courses.

Email laura.davis@rbwm.gov.uk for details.

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