Harlow’s Millie secures teaching job through inclusive employer scheme

Education / Thu 18th Nov 2021 at 02:48pm

ESSEX care provider ECL has achieved industry recognition at the East of England Great British Care Awards for their successful Inclusive Employment Service, which has now helped over 100 adults with learning disabilities to secure paid work.

ECL’s Inclusive Employment Service was established in partnership with Essex County Council to help adults with learning disabilities and autism to achieve their dreams of paid employment, while also changing employers’ attitudes towards inclusive recruitment. In the past 18 months and despite the pandemic, the service has reached the milestone of 100 adults with learning disabilities into paid work, as well as supporting with almost 1,500 job applications, 180 job interviews and 47 work trials.

Photo caption (L-R): Sue Wray, Inclusive Employment Business Manager at ECL, is presented with The Care Innovator Award at the East of England Great British Care Awards by host and compere Steve Walls. (Credit/Copyright: Tony Attill

The 100th person to secure a paid role through the Inclusive Employment team is 25-year-old Millie Jones, who was referred to ECL in August with the aim of finding a role in childcare or with animals. The team supported Millie with updating her CV, applying for jobs and preparing for six interviews before she successfully secured her “dream job” as a Teaching Assistant at a local primary school in Harlow.

As a result of the Inclusive Employment Service’s success since it launched in April 2020, Sue Wray, Inclusive Employment Business Manager at ECL, was presented with The Care Innovator Award at a glittering Great British Care Awards regional ceremony in Peterborough earlier this month. Sue and her team now go through to the National Finals in March 2022.

On winning the award, Sue Wray said: “We are thrilled to be recognised by the Great British Care Awards alongside the fantastic milestone of supporting 100 people into paid employment. Adults with learning disabilities have career ambitions and skills that employers are looking for, so we’re proud to be supporting them to find meaningful job opportunities and to fulfil their potential. We hope this award will highlight the need for more employers to embrace inclusive recruitment and encourage more adults across Essex and nationally to strive for their dream jobs.”

Jess Stewart, Head of Strategic Commissioning and Policy at Essex County Council, said: “This is a wonderful milestone for our Inclusive Employment Service and an excellent example of what commissioners and providers can achieve when they work together in improving the lives of people with learning disabilities and/or autism.

“Increasingly, through extensive research we found that young people and adults who attended our day centres wished to find meaningful, paid employment. We also knew that many of these people needed good quality support and training to help them reach their potential and make their transition to paid work as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

“Employment is right at the centre of the Meaningful Lives programme, which sets out to transform the lives of adults with a learning disability or autism in Essex. We know unemployment can reduce the quality of life for adults and restrict their financial opportunities, so finding 100 jobs through the service is such an impressive achievement.

“We are confident the service will continue to grow and look forward to seeing more satisfied individuals in work that fulfils their needs and offers them more independence.”

The Great British Care Awards ‘Care Innovator’ category recognises exceptional entrepreneurial skills and innovation that benefits staff, the business and service users. As a regional East of England winner, Sue Wray is now looking forward to the National Finals of the Great British Care Awards on 18 March 2022.

To find out more about ECL’s Inclusive Employment Service, see www.ecl.org/inclusive-employment

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