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13 March 2020
By Specialist Employment service

The Education People and NHS create paid employment outcomes for disabled jobseekers

The Specialist Employment Service (Kent Supported Employment) have been continuing their vital work with the NHS to support them in becoming more inclusive employers, helping them to tap into an extremely talented but often overlooked pool of jobseekers with disabilities. A recent case study by the NHS demonstrates a prime example of the service’s professional supported employment model in action, which has led to yet another positive paid employment outcome for our client pool.

Our professional supported employment model in action

KSE client Sharon Harris has mild learning difficulties and had been out of work for a year until she met Mitch at KSE who was determined to find the perfect job for her. It soon became clear to him that Sharon had the talent and skills required to excel in a role he was aware of at Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT), so they got to work on the application. This is a vital part of the process for the service and they have made great strides in making it more accessible for those with disabilities by tailoring job descriptions, advising on the application process and providing candidates with job coaching. Through collaboration with the client and employer, Mitch was able to support Sharon with her application form and suggested a video interview format to help her demonstrate her full potential. Needless to say she got the job. On behalf of the team, Alicia Moyles who is Head of Specialist Employment states, ‘the service is delighted to have supported Sharon to meet her potential in securing paid employment and we are equally proud to be supporting employers to access an additional talent pool of people for their business,’.

What makes our model so successful?

Using methods such as job carving and job analysis to ensure job roles are tailored towards the client's needs and abilities, we find that this not only creates viable opportunities for those with disabilities, but also leads to greater staff retention and savings on recruitment costs for employers. For the Specialist Employment service, the professional relationship with the employer is just as important as the relationship with the client and is key to the continual growth in the number of opportunities created.

How is Sharon getting on at KCHFT?

Sharon now works as a Practice Partner within the Learning Disabilities Service and it is her responsibility to make sure the needs of people with a learning disability are met by KCHFT. She is excelling in her role, which now takes her all over Kent providing NHS teams with a learning disability perspective to make their practices more inclusive. Sharon’s advice to anyone who finds themselves in her position is simple - “Try using Kent Supported Employment. It will help you like it helped me, with the forms and at the interview. Be brave and go for it.”