Q&As from Inclusive Employment Webinars 2022

The Q&A panel consisted of the following subject matter experts:

  • Sue Wray – ECL Inclusive Employment Business Manager
  • Sharron Howard – ACL Curriculum Lead
  • Kate Gotts and Nilofer Saiyyed – ECC/ECL LIVE contract co-ordinators
  • Becky Holding – Inclusive Employment Job Broker
  • Inclusive employees and family members with experience of inclusive employment:
    • Xanthe Clarke (inclusive employee)
    • Gina Clarke (mum to Xanthe)
    • Louise Sayer (inclusive employee)
    • Stephanie Vagg (mum to inclusive employee, Lucas)
    • Joshua Wakeham (inclusive employee)
    • Carla Wakeham (mum to Joshua)
    • Tony Dunstan (employer at Langdon Hills Golf Club)
    • George Burt (inclusive employee)
    • Wendy Burt (mum to George and co-ordinates Essex Carers Network)
    • Joshua Stevens (inclusive employee)
    • Rick Stevens (dad to Joshua)

Q What approach do you take to encourage and support employers to offer paid, meaningful employment?

A We approach employers from many different angles, we reach out to employers that are already advertising for roles and we approach those that are already disability confident to see if we can grow that even more within their company. We also approach local employers who may not have even thought about employing someone with a disability, appealing to their social conscience and giving them an opportunity to ‘do their bit’ for the local community. We build good relationships with companies, we network extensively, attend job fairs, hold face to face meetings and have even been lobbying our local employees to support the scheme! We ensure that when a business employs one of our customers that the relationship and benefits are mutual and that the employer feels supported throughout which gives us strong testimonials and recommendations to share with potential employers.

Q What are the expected hours of work or are these adjusted to the customer’s needs?

A Employment can be as little as a couple of hours a week, part time or full time to meet both the employer and customer’s needs.

Q Are there any circumstances in which Inclusive Employment can cost a young person and if so, what are the costs?

A No the service is funded by Essex County Council, it is free to individuals who are over 18, have a learning disability and/or autism, and live in Essex. There are some other possible associated costs such as getting to and from work, or if the person requires some equipment or technology to enable them to work, but the Inclusive Employment team works closely with schemes such as Access to Work and The Princes Trust to secure help with this wherever possible.

Q I lead on Supported Internships at a College and would really like to work with ELC. We have around 15 Essex young people who will be finishing the course next week. Some may not be gaining employment so we feel inclusive employment would be an excellent transition and we can support this as we work very similar. They have done a minimum of a 6-month work placement with support from a Job Coach. Would you recommend the young person/parent referring themselves or us doing the referral as a provider? We could potentially set-up a 121 meeting to give all necessary information.

A Individuals can either self-refer on our website or the staff at the college can make the referral, whichever is easiest for those young people that are coming up to leaving college. We would be delighted to have a conversation with the college.

Q Our son has mobility issues and autism, are employers sympathetic to their inclusive employees who may be dealing with pain or sensory overwhelm?

A Any additional needs are captured at the vocational profiling stage so that the right job match can be found for every individual to ensure it meets their needs. The employer engagement team work closely with the inclusive employment consultants to ensure that they can represent those needs when engaging with prospective employers. Site visits are always carried out before employment begins so that any access requirements and health and safety risks can be identified and addressed. We request any reasonable adjustments of employers as early in the recruitment process as possible. We would never place someone with an employer who is unable to accommodate the needs of our customers.

Q Can you work with a person that is still in education and what age will you start working with them 18+ or below?

A An individual can join the inclusive employment scheme if they are still in education if they are over the age of 18. However, for young people who are approaching adulthood we can have conversations with them and their school/college before they turn 18 to help them plan their transition pathway and prepare for Inclusive Employment.

Q Can you support with finding an apprenticeship or looking at university/further study to help both the young person and the parent find the right solution?

A ACL does have an ‘access to higher education’ department which supports people to gain the skills and qualifications they need to move into higher education if that is their chosen pathway. We also have an apprenticeship department which can support apprenticeships at all different levels including inclusive apprenticeships.

Q If I find an employer/job vacancy for my son, how do I broach the subject of ECL involvement, or how can ECL get involved, who would I contact?

A We have already had instances where individuals have had interviews or job start dates agreed and they were concerned about how they would manage without extra support. That referral can be sent through to us and we would be happy to pick up providing the support that is needed to make that interview or job offer a success. You can make the referral by contacting us via our website or by emailing us at inclusive.employment@essexcares.org.

Q What is the best way to contact you to get inclusive employment support for someone who has learning difficulties and who wants to work.

A You can contact us to make a referral either for yourself or for someone else if you/they are over 18 with a learning disability and live in Essex by: