Helping disabled people into work

Left to right:Kerry Claxton,Employer Engagement Officer,Tracey Adu,Contact Centre Manager, David Slater, Charlotte Fairclough, Employment Training Advisor and Coun Keith Cunliffe, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Services
Left to right:Kerry Claxton,Employer Engagement Officer,Tracey Adu,Contact Centre Manager, David Slater, Charlotte Fairclough, Employment Training Advisor and Coun Keith Cunliffe, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Services

A SUPPORTED employment service in Leigh aims to help more people with disabilities gain work.

Wigan Supported Employment Service is currently working with Adactus Housing, which has a contact centre in Leigh, to introduce work placements and provide real work opportunities for people with disabilities.

The supported employment team aims to guide people who are furthest removed from the labour market into gaining and sustaining paid employment.

One person who has been helped is 19-year-old David Slater, of Whelley, who gained a three-month work placement with Adactus’ contact centre in Leigh.

David has a form of autism and has never worked before.

But with one-to-one support from Supported Employment, David began his placement last year and his role involved assisting the contact centre team with administration tasks.

And now David has a temporary paid contract for up to a year.

He said: “The relationship between supported employment and Adactus has resulted in an amazing personal development journey.

“Less than three months into my placement, I was confident enough to even take the bus into work on my own and travel independently.

“Other positive changes to my life are an increase in self confidence, and I have also established and sustained positive relationships with work colleagues and developed a better understanding of my working environment.”

David’s training advisor, Charlotte Fairclough, said: “David has been an inspiration and pleasure to work with and the difference in his personality and confidence has been fantastic to see.

“It just shows what a difference a supportive employer can make when the correct training and support is put into place.”

Paul Lees, group chief executive at Adactus, said: “We are delighted to see how well David is progressing while working with us.

“Adactus remains committed in working closely with Wigan Council and providing a reliable working environment for more successful work placements in the future.”

Councillor for Leigh East, Keith Cunliffe, visited the offices in Leigh to congratulate David and celebrate the successful partnership.

He said: “It is vital that local business like Adactus are involved in employing a diverse work force, this enables adults with disabilities a chance to participate in paid employment.

“I would like to thank Adactus for networking with Wigan Council Supported Employment Service and I hope that other local businesses would consider creating opportunities for other disabled people within their workforce.”

For employers willing to support people with disabilities into employment, contact Kerry Claxton on 01942 828439.