30 November 2016
Unemployed people with disabilities are being helped into work through an innovative £900,000 programme, piloted in Scotland by Mitie and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).
The ‘Think Differently’ initiative is designed to encourage employers to actively recruit candidates with autism, learning disabilities, physical disabilities and mental health problems. It will enable a minimum of 60 candidates across the UK, to take part in a 12-week training programme designed to gain real life work experience and a recognised industry qualification.
It is currently being piloted in Glasgow and Airdrie in Scotland. Ten candidates are on placement with Mitie in roles including quantity surveying, electrical engineering, painting and decorating and administration.
The project has received almost half a million pounds in funding from CITB, with a further £400,000 investment from Mitie and partners, and is supported by disability recruitment partner Remploy, The National Autistic Society, and construction training organisation, Geason Training.
As part of the initiative, Remploy and The National Autistic Society will refer candidates to the programme and deliver disability training to Mitie employees. This Disability Coaching Model will up-skill existing staff and enable Mitie to offer inclusive work placement opportunities across its business. Geason Training will deliver training qualifications to all participants.
Mark McCafferty, Regional HR Manager at Mitie Property Services, said: “We are delighted to have been provided the opportunity to develop the Think Differently concept into an innovative partnering programme. We are certain that it will provide an excellent opportunity for participants, who may have encountered significant barriers to employment, to enhance their skills, confidence and provide an alternative “job interview” model.
“It is widely accepted that disabled job seekers can be disadvantaged by traditional recruitment methods and that work trials can provide an effective alternative route to finding employment, so we are excited at the prospect of identifying future Mitie talent throughout the duration of the project.”
Ian Hughes, Strategic Partnerships Director at CITB Scotland, said: “CITB is proud to be involved in the Think Differently programme. Construction needs to work harder to diversify its workforce, and initiatives."