On Tuesday 25 June, students, employers, friends, families, Carers, EmployAbility and Surrey Choices enjoyed an afternoon of celebrations at Denbies Wine Estate, for the annual EmployAbility Making a Difference Awards. Amongst 16 of this years winners, was the University of Surrey.
The EmployAbility team and the University of Surrey set up ‘Employment Works’ after a few years of working together to find placements around the University for students with learning disabilities. The Employment Works project involves preparing students for paid work at the end of their 10 week placement in one of the many areas of employment at the University. Through a matching process, the Employment Support Specialist (ESS) from EmployAbility works with the student to find a job that is best suited to their needs, interests and skills. The ESS is on site throughout the placement to provide support to the students as well as the employer, if and when required. After being nominated for their Making a Difference Award earlier this year, Jo McCarthy-Holland, Equality and Diversity at the University of Surrey said:
We are proud to be working with Surrey Choices on the Employment Works project which continues to thrive. This inspirational project is now in its 9th year and provides work placements, training and volunteer opportunities for young people with learning, physical or sensory disabilities. It delivers life changing experiences, not only to the lives of the young people it reaches but to many of our colleagues throughout the University who have engaged with the project. We are grateful for the opportunities it provides to connect with the local community and to help create an inclusive culture for our staff, students and visitors.
Over the last eight years, over 70 young people have been supported into paid work after completing their Employment Works placement. Our EmployAbility team continue to work very closely with these individuals and at this present moment, seven of these young people are known to be in voluntary placements, and 30 of them remain in paid work.
The team at the University of Surrey were also shortlisted in May at their University of Surrey HR Awards ceremony and were awarded runner-up in Equality and Diversity category.
We were so delighted to have been awarded runner-up in the Equality and Diversity category of the evening. There were many positive comments and compliments received on the night about Employment Works.
Congratulations to the Univeristy of Surrey!
The Surrey Choices EmployAbility service support people with disabilities or additional needs to find and sustain work. For further information on Surrey Choices EmployAbility team and how they could support you into work please contact: 01483 806806 or email firstname.lastname@example.org