Yorkshire Evening Post campaign 'Let's Work Together' makes an impact

A CAMPAIGN urging businesses to give vulnerable people a chance in the workplace, is making an impact.

By Alison Bellamy
Saturday, 29th June 2019, 7:47 am
Businesses across Leeds are urged to get involved

There are 50,000 disabled people in work living in Leeds, out of a working population of 1.51 million, According to the Department for Work and Pensions.

Let's Work Together campaign, run jointly by the YEP and Reed In Partnership, has highlighted during the week-long series, some of the hardship job seekers with disabilities and health conditions, face in finding work.

Mark Turner, regional employer manager for Better Working Futures, wants to give employers confidence to come forward.

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We also heard about the success stories of the Better Working Futures scheme, which is run by Reed in Partnership via Jobcentre Plus.

Forward thinking employers such as Carewatch Leeds have told us how giving people like Syed Rahman a chance, has been such a positive step.

Syed, from south Leeds, told us: "I worried for years about getting a job - now I love my work. I can feel the change in myself. It has helped me so much I cannot stress enough all I can say is a massive thank you’.

“I now enjoy helping others, where at one time it was me who needed the help.”

Hannah Thaxter, editor of the Yorkshire Evening Post, says the campaign is making an impact

Hannah Thaxter, editor of the Yorkshire Evening Post, said: “We wanted to shine a light on the difficulties many people with disabilities or health conditions face in securing paid employment, but also to try to answer some of the questions and concerns potential employers might have about employing someone with different abilities, that they might

be wary of asking.

“We have achieved that with our campaign and it is making an impact. Interest is being shown and hopefully we can soon let people know which businesses are involved.

“Better Working Futures works to help people with disabilities and employers - to ensure the right person gets into the right job, with the right support.

"We need to work together on this to ensure our workplaces are somewhere where everyone's talents and skills can be used, whatever their disability."

https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/people/launch-of-yep-campaign-let-s-work-together-in-leeds-to-give-people-a-chance-to-work-1-9837233The YEP is highlighting the Better Working Futures scheme - available at Jobcentre Plus - in a bid to raise awareness and help more people,

who might struggle to find a job for a variety of reasons, into work.

Mark Turner, regional employer manager for Better Working Futures, said: “A lot of employers panic when they hear the words ‘disability’ or ‘health condition’ - they run away and are afraid to ask questions that they should be able to ask.

“Ultimately, the biggest problem that we have is that many employers assume a disability is going to be a problem.

“They also worry about cost – so many are unaware about schemes like Access to Work – so there’s a lot of educating to be done around this issue and the fact that there’s so much support out there.

“It’s about the ability, not the disability."

He said recruitment managers acted as a consultant for employers: "We often support them with things beyond the contracts – it’s all positive and employers continue to come back to us for our advice and guidance.

“We talk to employers about their vacancy needs and where they need improvement, ensuring the line managers within the business are educated about disabilities and health conditions – because it’s okay signing an agreement nationally, but actually that needs to filter through to every local site of a business.

“We also talk about the funding that we have in place to help candidates before they even go for interview, to bring them to a point where they are ready and feel prepared to start work.

“We make sure that any Better Working Futures participant is absolutely right for the role, so we are not wasting anybody’s time."

What is Better Working Futures?

Better Working Futures helps people address their barriers to employment, focusing largely on those with disabilities and other health conditions, including mental health issues and learning disabilities.

The support is completely free and participants can get help to prepare for work including managing their health, accessing skills training courses, searching and applying for jobs that suit their skills and personal circumstances, plus practicing for interviews.

They will also get support to deal with other issues, such as housing and finance and how to cope with a job and staying in work.

Each participant is paired up with a friendly employment adviser who will take the time to understand their needs.

Better Working Futures is Reed in Partnership’s name for the Work and Health Programme in Yorkshire and the North East, which is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions and European Social Fund.

If you are struggling to find work and would like to know what free support is available to help you, visit betterworkingfutures.co.uk