Health chiefs look to help disabled people get a job

A health organisation is aiming to ensure that people with a disability can secure a job.

Figures show that one in ten people with a learning disability are in paid work.

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW), a provider of mental health and disability services, has signed up to an NHS initiative to develop the skills and experiences of people with a learning disability through paid work.

Lisa Crichton-Jones, executive director of workforce and organisational development at NTW, said: “People with a learning disability are more excluded from the workplace than any other group of disabled people therefore I’m very excited that our organisation has taken these important first steps in providing employment opportunities for people who have a learning disability.

“This is particularly important considering the nature of our work and I look forward to welcoming our new starters in the near future.”

The Trust has signed up for ‘Two Ticks’ accreditation which means that they will commit to taking positive action to encourage applications from people with disabilities and develop an action plan to make it happen.

The next stage of the process will be to demonstrate how the plan has been put into action, evidenced by more people with learning disabilities being employed within NTW as well as sharing success stories and encouraging other employers to do the same.

Lisa added: “Crucially, the opportunities at NTW will be paid in line with other similar jobs and will make a real contribution to the work of the organisation.

“We have already offered apprenticeships to young people with a learning disability and this has been a great success which led to permanent opportunities with us.”

Lela Kogbara, Director of the Learning Disabilities Employment Programme, said: “We welcome Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust’s commitment and enthusiasm to opening up its workforce and take advantage of the broadest range of skills and experience possible, which will be of real benefit to patients in improving care for all.”