Essex Unite – exciting example of a #dpulo working in employment

Though it is undoubtedly a tough environment at the moment, it’s important to highlight when there are examples of successes for DPULOs across the country. Below is news of some work ecdp – a DPULO based in Chelmsford, Essex – are doing in the area of employment, kindly contributed by their Director of Insight, Paschal Kane.

ecdp is an Essex-based organisation run by and for disabled people with a long and well established history of working to enhance the lives of disabled people within the Essex community.

In partnership with Jobcentre Plus and the private sector group MITIE, ecdp is delighted to announce a ground-breaking work experience training programme designed to offer unemployed disabled individuals the opportunity to participate in meaningful work placements to give them the drive, experience and confidence needed to get into paid employment.

The programme is called ‘Essex Unite’ and is a commitment between the partners to offer bespoke training, delivered flexibly at the right pace for 18 disabled individuals. It is an 8 week programme which will include a pre-placement week offering a number of training courses such as, how to deliver good customer service, how to develop leadership skills and how to manage health and stress levels. It also includes 6 weeks of valuable work experience, with participants being matched with appropriate employers in order to gain the right level of experience to support them back into work.

Following the work placement, individuals will participate in a post programme transition week which will include CV and job interview workshops. For three months after the programme, ecdp will continue to support Essex Unite participants to ensure that they build on their experience and capitalize on employment opportunities.

What is unique about Essex Unite is that it is a peer to peer led programme, with disabled individuals supporting other disabled individuals to achieve their aspirations and life goals.

The success of ‘Essex Unite’ depends on developing new partnership opportunities with organisations which share our ambitions to nurture talent and provide an equal chance for all. ecdp has already secured a number of work placement commitments from a variety of private, public and third sector stakeholders but there is more work to do to ensure the programme has a lasting legacy.  With ‘Essex Unite’ the goal is to develop a new model of co-operation between the public and private sector to tackle social problems at a local level. Building on the well-established principles of corporate social responsibility, ecdp believe this innovative and creative training programme will not only enhance the private and public sectors understanding of disability but ultimately lead to higher retention rates, greater productivity and better community relations.

Essex Unite milestones:

  • Breakfast Launch Event on 31st July, Cllr. Anne Brown of Essex County Council to speak
  • Participant open day – end of August (exact date tbd).
  • Work Experience Programme Start – Beginning of September

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Man of letters & numbers; also occasionally of action. Husband to NTW. Dad of three. Friendly geek.

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