I have long been a supporter of initiatives to help people with disabilities and health conditions into employment.
Recent figures show record numbers of people in employment, in fact the best since the 1970’s.
However the statistics still show a disappointingly low amount of people with disabilities in full-time employment. This is why I fully support the Government’s ‘Disability Confident’ scheme which is designed to persuade employers to hire more people with disabilities, and also give them the necessary resources to do so.
The scheme also works to fight the stigma that is wrongly associated with disabilities. Indeed, I co-sponsored a ‘Disability Confident’ event here in Northampton in 2016 in which we made the case to local employers that people with disabilities and health conditions can bring additional skills to their businesses. For example, a deaf employee may be able to help a business to communicate using British Sign Language (BSL), which could result in large savings.
You can read more about this through the following links: https://www.michaelellis.co.uk/news/michael-supports-disability-confident-event-northampton and https://www.michaelellis.co.uk/news/michael-opens-disability-confident-event-northampton.
This is why I was not only excited to hear that Brookside Day Centre in Northampton are participating in the scheme, but I was also keen to support them in their efforts. Brookside, which is a day care centre in Northampton that provides services for adults with learning disabilities, is working in conjunction with the Department for Work and Pensions and Starbucks to give disabled people here in Northampton meaningful work experience and skills. I visited Brookside a few months ago to see the great work that they do and I was thoroughly impressed by their facilities and their staff. You can read more about that visit by clicking on the following link: https://www.michaelellis.co.uk/news/michael-supports-brooksides-disability-confident-scheme.
I have since also worked with Brookside to film a video message for them explaining the work that Brookside do and also talking about their ‘Disability Confident’ scheme. Through their scheme, people with disabilities have been gaining valuable skills and experience working in a local Starbucks.
You can watch the video here: https://vimeo.com/267977053. This video is due to be published onto Brookside’s website in the coming weeks.