Essex care provider ECL (Essex Cares Limited) has helped more than 100 adults with learning disabilities find paid employment through their inclusive employment scheme.
The scheme was established in partnership with the local council in order to help adults with learning disabilities and autism achieve their dreams of finding paid employment.
It also set out to change employers' attitudes to inclusive recruitment, and has been so successful that it recently achieved industry recognition at the East of England Great British Care Awards.
The scheme has helped people to attain their "dream jobs"
In the past 18 months, the service has successfully helped 100 adults with learning disabilities secure paid work. This has involved supporting almost 1,500 job applications, 180 job interviews and 47 work trials.
Millie Jones was the 100th person to secure a paid role through the scheme. The 25-year-old was referred to ECL in August and was supported with updating her CV, applying for job and preparing for six interviews.
Millie has now secured her "dream job" as a teaching assistant at a local primary school in Harlow.
ECL's business manager awarded the Care Innovator Award
As a result of the scheme's success, ECL's inclusive employment business manager, Sue Wray, has been awarded the Care Innovator Award. Sue and her team will now go through to the national finals in March 2022.
On winning the award, she 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 the service is 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."
She added: "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."
To find out more about ECL’s Inclusive Employment Service, see www.ecl.org/inclusive-employment.