Oxfordshire businesses are invited to dispel myths and reduce the stigma around employing disabled people at a local conference in East Oxford.
Activate Learning will host Dispelling Disability Myths in the Workplace, delivered in partnership with Oxfordshire Business First, OxLEP and Job Centre Plus at Unipart House on 5 December.
About the event
The event aims to ensure hiring businesses feel disability confident and can find out more about the support available to them, as well as learning how to recruit a diverse workforce.
The government Disability Confident scheme supports employers to make the most of the talents disabled people can bring to the workplace with the ambition to secure more jobs for disabled people in Oxfordshire.
Tracy James, Head of Operations for the Lifeskills faculty at Activate Learning, said: “Organisations that are disability confident can help play a leading role in changing behaviour and culture though inclusive and diverse recruitment practices.
7.6 million working age disabled people in the UK
“There are 7.6 million working age disabled people in the UK and this event aims to dispel the common myths associated with dealing with disability in the workplace.
“These include fears that it is costly, time consuming or that a person with a disability cannot perform tasks as well.
“We know from our experience of working with young disabled learners and developing learning companies to give these students a chance to get first-hand experience of a proper job, how much value a disabled employee can add to a business.”
Speak to training providers and organisations
For people attending the event, there will be opportunities to speak to training providers and organisations who can support placement from local talent pools, as well as explaining funding and training options available to them.
A keynote speaker for the day will include Angie Matthews from the Business Disability Forum.
Demonstrating the talent disabled people bring to business
It will demonstrate to local employers the talent and skills disabled people can bring to Oxfordshire business, as well as giving disabled jobseekers more opportunity to find varied work.
The day will also allow like-minded local businesses to network with one another, as well as meet potential employees.
Simon Cooper, a Project Administration Apprentice at Activate Learning and scheduled speaker at the event, said: “Having an employer who actually took the time to understand me has been life changing. I now feel that I have something to get up for every morning and I am a valued member of the team. It’s changed my life.”
Simon's father, Timothy Cooper, added: "We would like to thank Activate Learning for giving Simon a chance to show that people with disabilities can do a good job. Simon is enjoying his apprenticeship and the reports that we recieve from his workplace are all very positive.
"Simon now has a good goal in life and is excited for his future. We as parents can now look at our son and see this and we are excited for him also. Thank you for giving him this opportunity."
Employers will be able to see real-life examples of this work in practice, including how it has benefited both employee and business.
Dispelling Disability Myths in the Workplace attendees will be able to learn more about support available to help recruit, train and retain staff and ensure a diverse workforce. The event will be taking place between 8:30am and 12:30pm.
If you are a local business interested in attending the Dispelling Disability Myths in the Workplace event, please click the link to register on Eventbrite.