ECL’s Inclusive Employment service reaches another key milestone

ECL’s Inclusive Employment service is celebrating supporting over 400 people with learning disabilities and/or autism to fulfil their ambitions of paid employment.

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Established in partnership with Essex County Council, ECL’s Inclusive Employment service has reached the impressive milestone of supporting 410 people to seek paid employment in just four years. Of these, over 125 have transitioned directly from day centres.

The service has facilitated more than 11,200 job applications, 1660 interviews and 253 work trials. In addition to working closely with the Essex business community to encourage more companies to become disability confident employers.

One of the scheme’s recent success stories is Amy a 27-year-old with a zest for life who has undergone a life-changing Inclusive Employment journey and has found satisfying work in a cleaning role at Perryfields Infant School.

She thoroughly enjoys her job and credits it to giving her newfound confidence and independence. The supportive environment fostered by the headteacher, Amanda Reid, and her friendly co-workers were key to Amy finding her feet and settling into her role within just six weeks.

Amy said: “I love my job, I used to be quite shy but now I can talk to people much easier. I really enjoy the cleaning; I particularly like it during the school holidays as then we get to do a deep clean. Working at Perryfields has changed me for the better. I couldn’t have done any of it without the ECL Inclusive Employment team, my job coach Linda has been lovely, and I know that there’s always someone on hand to talk to.”

Amanda Reid, Headteacher Perryfields Infant School said: “As a school committed to equality and by working in collaboration with ECL we have enabled Amy to gain employment, grow in confidence and self-belief. As a school, we are fully inclusive and by working together Amy has thrived in paid employment as part of our team. With ongoing high quality support Amy continues to succeed in her role and is hard working and enthusiastic.”

ECL’s specialist Inclusive Employment team matches talented individuals to meet the needs of the employer, creating a successful working relationship that enables the candidate to develop their skills and achieve their goal of becoming more independent. The service provides on-the-job coaching and mentoring for as long as is needed to ensure that both the individual and the employer have the best experience.

Councillor John Spence, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care said: “Every additional person with learning disabilities and other issues entering employment through our scheme is another person whose sense of self-worth will be enhanced, whose skills will be developed, and whose life will be more meaningful.”

Sue Wray, ECL Inclusive Employment Business Manager said: “This is a wonderful milestone for our service and an excellent example of what commissioners and providers can achieve when they work together to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities and/or autism. Our service was launched in direct response to feedback from the young people and adults who told us they wished to find meaningful, paid employment. In partnership with Essex County Council, we’ve developed a service that offers good quality support and training to help them achieve their ambitions of paid employment and make the transition to work as smooth and enjoyable as possible.”

Recent Inclusive Employment success story, Amy who found satisfying work in a cleaning role at Perryfields Infant School.
Recent Inclusive Employment success story, Amy found satisfying work in a cleaning role at Perryfields Infant School.

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