Tag Archives: join-in

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



Tap into Top Talent

BSc Digital

Employers are invited to attend a free Business Breakfast taking place on Friday 11th March 08:00-09:30 supported by Santander Corporate & Commercial Bank, at Pynes Hill, Exeter, on behalf of the Exeter and Heart of Devon Employment and Skills Board.

The Business Breakfast will provide information and advice to employers on the benefits of tapping in to top talent through the Higher and Graduate apprenticeship route and is part of the National Apprenticeship Week 2016, which runs between 14th and 18th March.

This event will be beneficial to employers who are looking to grow their own top talent, as well as those who have already benefitted from employing Intermediate and Advanced level apprentices and would like to explore Higher or Graduate apprenticeships. Businesses which operate in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Knowledge Based Industries (KBI) are encouraged to attend, as are those who are interested in finding out about the new Degree Apprenticeships at the University of Exeter. The Exeter and Heart of Devon Employment and Skills Board encourages high quality apprenticeships across all sectors and levels, with particular interest in technical and higher entry level apprenticeships.

Simon McGinnes from The University of Exeter, will talk about the exciting new initiative of Degree Apprenticeships in Digital and Technology Solutions. Also included on the agenda are presentations from successful apprentice employers and the opportunity for a question and answer session within an expert panel discussion. Representatives from the local Apprenticeship Ambassador Network will be available to provide more information and insights during networking time.

The introduction of the apprenticeship levy from April 2017 will encourage employers to think more about benefitting from apprenticeships. Funding opportunities for employers and apprentices have changed with the Government making a significant contribution to Graduate apprentice tuition fees.

Apprenticeships are fast becoming an alternative route into gaining knowledge and skills for the workplace. This increase in work-based learning is growing noticeably, Exeter College anticipates that apprenticeship enrolments are set to exceed those enrolling into ‘A’ Level routes.

All of these interesting and timely topics will be discussed at the event, which is free to attend and includes breakfast and corporate hospitality.

Places are limited to 40 and businesses who would like to take part should register here or contact the Exeter and Heart of Devon Employment and Skills for further information by emailing oenone.thomas@exeter.gov.uk or ringing 01392 265344 by 4 March 2016.


Be involved with Big Bang!

Come along and find out about the Big Bang South West 2016 Event. How you can take part and what it could do for you…
Judges at The Big Bang Fair, Photo by Pinnacle
Judges at The Big Bang Fair, Photo by Pinnacle

You are invited to celebrate the launch of The Big Bang South West, the region’s largest celebration of youth Science and Engineering. During 2015/16 The Big Bang will reach over 12,000 young people in the South West. The year’s activity culminates in the headline event hosted by the University of Exeter where we are joined by 2,000 young people who are talented, creative and bursting with enthusiasm for a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

The event fuels the future talent pool in the region and is the perfect place for students to discover career opportunities on their doorstep. It gives employers a chance to highlight their offer and stop the migration of talent out of the South West.

The success of The Big Bang South West is built on a fantastic partnership of education and employers. There are numerous opportunities throughout the year to be a part of it. You could be a competition judge, a project mentor, an exhibitor at the Fair or, an event sponsor helping to make this Big Bang the best regional event in the country.

The Big Bang South West 2016 Launch is:

  • on Wednesday 11 November
  • at Exeter Science Park, Babbage Way Clyst Honiton EX5 2FN GB
  • between 17:00 and 18:00 hours.

To view the Big Bang 2015 videos and gallery click here.

Refreshments will be available.

For further information contact: bigbang@ebp-sw.org

Book now – http://bigbangsouthwest2016launch.eventbrite.co.uk



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