SABRE Employment (UK)Mission Statement:
To communicate overall objectives/business goals which not only embrace the provision of quality service to applicants, but clearly reflect the desire to provide an efficient recruitment service to employers and which assist employers to improve their capacity to employ people with disabilities. Emphasis should be placed on the primary aim to achieve customer satisfaction. “All of Sabre’s activities begin with our customers. Our goals are to provide recruitment solutions through effective job matching, reliable training and support and to offer expertise in the recruitment and employment of people with disabilities.”
A job fair was recently held to give people a chance to meet employers and learn about different jobs. McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd. ran a workshop on interview skills and also sponsored the job fair event along with Shell and Pizza Hut. There were employer displays which provided an opportunity for employers and prospective employees with learning difficulties to meet in an informal way.
The Coverdale Bursary Programme (UK)
For five years, Coverdale, a small (70 people) management consultancy has offered bursaries to the value of £10,000 per person to disabled individuals seeking high quality management training. These individuals then go into companies like Barclays Bank, the Post Office and Midland Bank for additional training, in a process which promotes long-term attitude change across participating companies. This programme is now being expanded. It has been adapted by The Canadian Council for Rehabilitation and Work.
Brook Street and FYD (UK)
A commercial recruitment agency, Brook Street, and a charity for young deaf people, Friends for the Young Deaf (FYD), have worked in partnership for some years. Brook Street offers work experience and assessment to the young deaf graduates completing the FYD leadership training programme; Brook Street then places appropriate candidates into jobs, charging the same commercial fee they would charge for any candidate.
Employers’ Forum on Disability (UK)
Companies involved in the Employers’ Forum on Disability, an employer-funded association that promotes the integration of disabled persons in the labour market and provides advisory services for interested enterprises, helped disabled entrepreneur Stephen Duckworth to establish his business, Disability Matters, which now offers high quality consultancy and awareness-raising on disability to companies across the UK. Its philosophy encompasses the following:
- to understand and define the business case for employing disabled people
- an authoritative employers’ voice on disability
- employment- and training-related services which are more market led
- to develop new ways to attract qualified disabled applicants and to retain disabled employees
- The key to influencing employers and mobilizing their involvement is to network in a way that:
- promotes the business case through business-to-business communication
- promotes personal contact between employers and disabled individuals
- promotes employer ownership of the issue and an awareness on the part of rehabilitation providers that the employer should be valued as stakeholder, customer and potential partner
- positions disability as part of the wider debate regarding economic and social regeneration, long-term unemployment, poverty and micro and macroeconomic policies
Other examples in the UK: The Employer Forum on Disabilities
Leading UK companies drafted a highly influential policy framework called the “Employers Agenda on Disability, a Ten Point Plan”. This was launched by the Prime Minister and is now publicly supported by more than 100 major firms. It has proven a powerful force for change because it was drafted by the employers themselves in consultation with disability experts. It is now a key tool in helping employers to comply with discrimination legislation.
Supporters of the Agenda are publicly committed to structuring their corporate policy on disability using a 10-point framework addressing the following issues: Equal Opportunities Policy and Procedures Statement; Staff Training and Disability Awareness; The Working Environment; Recruitment; Career Development; Retention, Retraining and Redeployment; Training and Work Experience; People with Disabilities in the Wider Community; Involvement of Disabled People; Monitoring Performance.
The Action File on Disability, a unique manual which provides practical information on how to implement the Agenda, has been produced by the Employers’ Forum on Disability.
More than 20 companies are involved in a consortium working with “Workable”, which brokers work-experience opportunities to disabled students in a planned and structured manner.
Twenty-five companies jointly fund an initiative making annual Career Fairs for students accessible for disabled students. The Career Fairs are now wheelchair accessible, and interpreters for the deaf are available, as well as large-print brochures and other support. Employers had experienced such difficulty attracting disabled graduates to apply for jobs using traditional intermediaries that they are now pioneering recruitment methods which speak directly to the disabled students.
The project HIRED in San Francisco embodies this new employer orientation. The acronym stands for Helping Industry Recruit Employees with Disabilities. Their literature highlights the services they offer employers:
“Project HIRED is a private, not for profit organization serving the San Francisco Bay area. Our purpose is to assist individuals with disabilities to secure jobs appropriate to their qualifications and career goals. Our services to employers include:
- free referrals, pre-screened, qualified candidates matched to a company’s job openings
- quality temporary employment services at competitive rates
- customized, on site seminars on the technical, legal and interpersonal aspects of disability in the workplace, and
- consultation on all topics related to disabilities in the workplace.
In addition to less formal corporate partnerships, Project HIRED has a corporate membership programme involving approximately 50 Bay Area companies. As corporate members, these companies are entitled to free consulting and a discount on seminars. We are currently exploring additional services, such as library of video resources, to further assist corporate members successfully incorporate people with disabilities in their workforce.”
The origins of ASPHI (Associazione per lo Sviluppo di Progetti Informatici per gli Handicappati) go back to the late 1970s when IBM Italy organized courses in computer programming for the visually impaired. A number of companies which had subsequently employed the trainees, together with specialist partner agencies from the non-profit sector, created ASPHI for the physically disabled and the hearing and mentally impaired. The Association involves more than 40 companies which provide financial support, staff and volunteer helpers, advice as well as employment opportunities for ASPHI’s graduates. ASPHI’s objective is to harness information technologies for the social and vocational integration of disadvantaged groups. Its activities include: job training, research and development of new products (mainly software) which facilitate alternative methods of communication, personal autonomy and rehabilitation, and community education, thus breaking down prejudices and discrimination against disabled people. Each year, some 60 young people are qualified by ASPHI. With about 85% of its graduates finding a permanent job, ASPHI’s success has brought it national and international recognition.
Swedish Employers’ Federation Initiative
The Swedish Employers’ Federation Initiative, “Persons with Disabilities in Companies”, positions disability firmly in the labour market debate in the country and conveys the message that disability is an issue of importance to the Swedish Employers Confederation and its members. The Federation states: “The path to employment for persons with disabilities must be made smoother. Requirements for this include:
- clear signals to employers concerning responsibility and costs
- financial compensation for extra costs, if any, incurred by employers who appoint persons with disabilities
- more knowledge of disabilities and the scope of persons with disabilities for changing attitudes and values
- improved cooperation between companies, authorities and individuals to create a dynamic and flexible labour market.”