A Harrogate charity has appointed a job coach as it aims to boost work placements and internships for disabled people across the district.
Anthony Longmires’s role within Disability Action Yorkshire is to help disabled people find work opportunities, as well as encouraging more employers to open their doors to a person with a physical or learning disability.
Whilst the Hornbeam Park-based organisation can find placements with other charities and companies specialising in gardening, and hospitality, it is seeking openings in a host of different sectors, including agriculture, retail, marketing and research.
Disability Action Yorkshire chief executive Jackie Snape said:
Last year we were thrilled to be awarded Disability Confident Leader status, in recognition of our work in championing disabled people in the workplace.
Bringing Anthony on board is the next logical step for us as less than half (49 per cent) of disabled people are in paid employment, and that is a statistic we want to change.
Anthony’s role is to work with existing employers, seek out new opportunities and support the disabled people and employers in ensuring the success of the placements and internships.
Due to a number of factors, placement opportunities for disabled people are hard to find. My job is to make it easier for companies to offer disabled people work experience.
Most firms are not averse to the idea of opening their workplace to disabled learners, but they simply don’t know how to go about it.
For some there’s the fear it may increase costs, such as insurance, which isn’t the case. And for others it’s simply about changing perceptions and knocking down barriers.
The disabled people I work with all have the aspiration to be in the workplace, but in order to achieve that we need many more business to open their doors to someone with a physical or learning disability.
Getting more local disabled people into employment is key for our organisation, and we have the skills to help them – and potential employees – achieve this.
Businesses interested in finding out more about giving a disabled person a work placement or internship should contact Anthony on 01423 855 410.