A day in the life of… our Inclusive Employer Engagement Lead

We spend a day in the life of Emma Gilson who is our Inclusive Employer Engagement Lead

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Here we share a day in the life of Emma Gilson our Inclusive Employer Engagement Lead. Emma has been with ECL for three years. Her role is to engage with business across Essex, educating them about how to become more disability confident, promote our Inclusive Employment service, and actively encourage businesses to become inclusive employers.

Emma told us: “Prior to ECL I worked in teaching and recruitment. I have always been passionate about Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and my background in teaching and recruitment have many transferable skills that compliment my role at ECL. I love the fact that we’re supporting talented individuals with a mild learning disability or autism into employment. The job involves a lot of engagement with potential employers across Essex. Ranging from cold calling, responding to advertisements, or attending networking events such as the Essex Chamber of Commerce Festival of Business which I was a panel speaker at last year.

“I would say that no two days are the same and that’s what I absolutely love about my job. My day can range from analysing our job seekers on the employer engagement spreadsheet, to picking up the phone and talking to employers, challenging employers about their approach to inclusive employment, setting up work trials and arranging potential interviews for candidates. I also get to be involved with things like talking to local MPs about inclusive employment, finding out about the levelling up scheme and seeing if there are any further opportunities that we can get involved with.

“A typical day for me would be to look at the huge spreadsheet that I have of customers that are actively seeking employment and talking to my job broker that supports me in my role in North and Mid Essex to discuss who is hiring and find out what jobs are coming up. (Soon I will also have someone supporting me in the south and the west of Essex too so that’s exciting!). What I generally do is talk to the employers that I am already engaged with to find out what opportunities may be coming their way, and maybe spec a candidate in that has a fantastic CV and find a good job match.”

What Emma enjoys most about the role:

“There are two things that I enjoy most about my role; the first is challenging misconceptions – myth busting about neurodiversity and learning disabilities and getting involved in those challenging conversations! I love seeing the conversation go from a negative stance and changing it to a positive. Often the conversation ends with an employer saying ‘actually this is really interesting, you’ve changed my viewpoint and I’d like to find out more’ which is just fantastic.

“The second, and I guess, the most important thing is working with the inclusive employment consultants, talking to them about their case load and finding out who is job ready and then being a part of their employment journey. It’s amazing being a part of the team who supports candidates who, have had so many doors closed because they have had a disability to find their ideal role and achieving a successful employment outcome. For me that’s the cherry on the cake, I love it!”

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