Tag Archives: Join in – events

Tapping into ‘Untapped Talent’

160624-project-search Torbay graduates June 2016
Photo: Torbay & South Devon Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Website – Project SEARCH graduate interns June 2016

Inspiration – Business Benefits and Positive Teams!

Ros Banfield, Equality & Employability Support Officer from  Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust (top left in photograph) inspired all the participants of our ‘Tap into Top Talent’ Employer Breakfast on 5th July at the lovely Hannahs, Seale Hayne. Eight young people with learning disabilities from the local area have just graduated from the ground-breaking Project SEARCH internship scheme based at Torbay Hospital. Project SEARCH aims to remove the significant barriers faced by people with learning disabilities looking for employment and has had success all over the world. The business benefits a real desire to work, enjoyment of routine tasks, low absenteeism and especially for those living with autism close attention to detail and good levels of concentration. The positive impact of Project SEARCH has spread to the teams in which the interns work where mentoring, coaching and team identity improve and people ‘just seem sunnier’. This is the fourth year it has been delivered in Torbay by South Devon College, local social enterprise Pluss and Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust.

Practical Support and funding for individuals and businesses

Carolyn Horton and Jason Creed from the Department of Work and Pensions encouraged participants to consider the ‘Access to Work’ grant (up to £40,800 per year) to help with practical support to enable those with a disability to start or stay in work. The amount of the grant depends on need and eligibility but it can be used for taxi fares to work, adaptation or purchase of equipment, disability awareness training for colleagues or a workplace coach.

Marise Mackie from Pluss spoke enthusiastically about ‘Work Choice’ which is a government national programme delivered in this area by Pluss an organisation where people of all abilities are inspired and helped to achieve a career. Work Choice is for young people with disabilities between the ages of 18-24 and it can provide between £1137.50 and £2,275 per person to employers depending upon eligibility.

Thinking about Equality & Employment Law

Bethan Jones, from Michelmores provides HR support and advice on the full range of employment law issues, including unfair dismissal, redundancy, disciplinary and grievance procedures and HR policies and contracts. She was kind enough to talk about the key points to think about when employing individuals with Learning  Disabilities and Difficulties and she helped to alleviate some of the concerns participants may have had.

A place where disability is incidental

Debbie Slurman from Hannahs joined us to give us a potted history of Dame Hannah Rogers Charity which was founded in 1767 in Plymouth. Evolving through time the aim has been simple: to help enrich and empower the lives of children and adults in need. Debbie was inspirational. Although she confessed to not being practiced at the art of public speaking she had all participants wanting to know more and soak up her energy.

It makes so much sense …

The Employment and Skills Board believes in a ‘local world-class workforce where every individual matters’.  Apart from being the right thing to do, enabling people with Learning Disabilities and Difficulties or those living with Autism to work makes so much sense when we have almost full employment and individuals who really want to work and contribute.  Marise, Carolyn and Jason endorsed everything Ros said about the benefits to the workplace, the positive responses from the wider community and jobs well done.

We are grateful to Devon County Council for funding this event and we look forward to more ‘Untapped Talent’ events and positive outcomes in other locations!

Apprenticeships for people with learning disabilities

A taskforce on access to apprenticeships for people with learning disabilities, led by Paul Maynard MP has just published their recommendations all of which have been accepted.You can find the short report and response, ‘Apprenticeships: improving access for people with learning disabilities’ here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeships-improving-access-for-people-with-learning-disabilities





Untapped Talent: the employer benefits

Untapped Talent Logo

Untapped Talent: The Employer Benefits

Does your business require a high work ethic, low absenteeism and excellent attention to detail?

Despite many being keen to find work, more than 85% of people with learning disabilities (LD) or autism are unemployed. Many do not consider themselves disabled, some have mild disability issues, and the majority have untapped talents or skills that are desirable for employers.

Businesses that employ someone with LD can benefit from skills that include:

  • Reliability, conscientiousness and persistence
  • High levels of concentration
  • Accuracy, close attention to detail
  • Detailed factual knowledge and an excellent memory
  • Meticulous application of routine tasks

Traditional recruitment methods can often exclude those with learning disabilities, because individuals find it harder to communicate and understand. The Untapped Talent initiative is designed to help employers access this skilled and reliable workforce. This event will offer business tips on inclusive recruitment and answer concerns regarding employment law.

Fact: 7% of people with learning disabilities have a job. 65% want one.*

Untapped Talent: The Employer Benefits Business Breakfast 

Join us at this business breakfast for HR experts and business owners.

  • Tuesday 5 July 2016
  • Hannahs, Seale-Hayne, Newton Abbot, TQ12 6NQ07.30 – 10.30am
  • Free full sit down breakfast
  • This event is kindly being hosted by the Exeter & Heart of Devon Employment & Skills Board

PLEASE join us. Register at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/untapped-talent-the-employer-benefits-tickets-25344309512

Untapped Talent: The Employer Benefits Booklet

Please click this link to find out more about:

  • The Business Benefits
  • Why employing someone with LD or Autism is good for business
  • ‘Work Choice’ and ‘Access to Work’ grants and funding
  • What is a Learning Disability?
  • Emplyment support available to business
  • Free support for employers
  • 3 steps to hiring someone with a disability
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Different ways to get involved – Apprenticeships, Supported Internships etc
  • Other support and helpful links
  • Glossary of terms

*For data sources view: http://www.autism.org.uk/about-autism/myths-facts-and-statistics/some-facts-and-statistics.aspx





Find out about the latest round of calls for the European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) at our update and networking for collaboration event:

Date: Tuesday  21st July 2015
Time: 09:00 for 09:30 start – finish at 12.00 noon
Venue: Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter, EX1 1BW


This free event is an opportunity to hear about the latest round of calls, the realities of running European Funded programmes and it will provide an opportunity to meet with potential partners.


Booking is essential. Please book on this link https://www.eventbrite.com/e/european-structural-and-investment-fund-esif-update-tickets-17443174003

09:00 Arrival, registration and refreshments
09:30 Welcome and housekeeping Mark Shepherd, Waitrose – Chair and/or Kay Eldergill, Met Office – Vice Chair of Exeter & Heart of Devon Employment & Skills Board (EHOD ESB)
09:40 Working together to build a World Class Workforce Cllr Rosie Denham, Exeter City Council – Economy & Culture
09.55 European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF):

  • Overview
  • Update
  • Q&A
Heidi Hallam, Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP) – Partnerships Manager
10.20 Refreshments
10.40 Big Lottery

  • Overview
  • Update
  • Q&A
Catherine Stevens, Big Lottery Fund
11.00 The reality of running ESF funded programmes George Curry, Westward Pathfinder – Chief Executive
11.15 Final questions and comments Mark Shepherd or Kay Eldergill
11.25 Collaboration exchange
12.00 Finish

Prevent Duty – Home Office Training in Exeter

Rod Davies from Dorset & Somerset Training Provider Network has let us know that a new law will come onto the statute books in July which will require educational establishments to put structures in place to ensure, amongst other things, that learners on their programmes are not radicalised. The aim is to improve how local government, the health service, schools, universities, Further Education, Work Based Learning and others work together to prevent people being drawn into terrorism.

The provider response to this duty will be inspected under the new Common Inspection Framework by Ofsted and in some cases is already being considered at inspection. This duty is considered significant and is a must for all providers. It will be looked at as a part of safeguarding and as one secondary school has already discovered failure to address it can result in a grade 3 or 4.

The Dorset and Somerset Training Provider Network would like to invite two delegates from each organisation, a strategic leader and an organisation champion to an event to support implementation of the duty. The event venue details, description and outcomes are below:

Event Description  

Date: Tuesday 1st September 2015
Time: 09:00 to 12:30 hours
Venue: Flybe Training Centre, Exeter
Trainers: The Home Office

Prevent is about stopping people being drawn into extremism and becoming terrorists. The workshop builds our understanding of how young people can become radicalised and be vulnerable to extreme views and actions which could lead to acts of violent extremism. Practitioners working with young people may well become aware of changes and signs that might indicate the early stages of vulnerability to extremism. Extremism in itself is not illegal but practitioners need to be aware of potential signs that may be part of a pathway to terrorism.

Event Outcomes

  • Gain an understanding of the Prevent agenda and be able to identify your role within it
  • Recognise signs that a Young Person may be vulnerable to radicalisation
  • Receive a clear picture of the risks and threats both nationally and at a local level
  • Develop knowledge and confidence to discuss grievances
  • Gain a raised awareness of the key issues and how these can be tackled by all agencies Increase your agency’s capacity to prevent violent extremism.

Places are limited to 50, to book a place on the event please contact Rod Davis r.davis@dstpn.co.uk by 24th July 2015.