Employment for people with a Learning Disability

Hasseb and Akram working who are two our the young on our Learning Disability programme.

Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust is the first in the West Midlands to officially launch an innovative new programme, which gives 14 to 25 year olds in the region a real stepping stone into long-term NHS employment.

This vital programme, run in partnership with Calthorpe Academy, provides a real stepping stone into long-term NHS employment by offering those with moderate to severe learning disabilities supported employment opportunities in a department for a day per week (during term time) for a year. This year we’ve employed six young people on the scheme, and we’re looking to increase this number next year.

This project has featured in the Guardian newspaper , ITV Central News and NHS England. Most recently we contributed towards a project form NHS Employers on a toolkit on How to Recuit and support disabled staff in the NHS. 

This programme is run in partnership with Calthorpe Academy which is a full time day provision that provides individualised learning experiences that develop key employability and supported living skills for students with moderate/severe and ASD needs..

One of the students at Calthorpe Academy, Junaid, is currently employed in the Facilities team at our Women’s Hospital. He was initially worked one day per week last academic year under the Aspire scheme however, due to his ambition, bravery and resilience, this year Junaid has been employed for two days. He also mentors a new student and can work independently.

Junaid, who was also been nominated as a Superstar Learner for our ABC Awards, said: “I enjoy working here, helping at the hospital. I’m looked after here and happy. I have learnt to talk more and work using the right stuff.”Junaid _pictured) has grown in confidence and has come on a long way in terms of his communication skills while working within the facilities department. He has highlighted and challenged stereotypes around whether a learner with a learning disability can be part of a workforce.

If you would like to contact or follow the Aspire team, please use any of the following

Email: bwc.aspire@nhs.net

Twitter: @AspireBWC

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AspireBWC

Simmy Hunjan Fundraising

 

 

Sameer Hussain Education

How to apply

Currently the programme is only offered to students from Calthorpe Academy. However we have plans to expand this programme in the near future to other students in Birmingham. Please check back on this website for more information when it becomes available or alternatively add your details to our mailing list so you can be kept updated via our bi-monthly newsletter.

The programme

Before beginning work in these areas, the young people have a 2-4 week work experience placement on the department followed up with an interview. The tasks and duties assigned to the young people are carved to meet their needs.

These young people are supported by the Calthorpe job coaches, as well as receiving support from the Aspire@BWC Team

Key Elements of the programme

  • Students will spend one day a week , term time only at the department
  • Students working day is from 10am-3pm
  • The young people are paid for the work they carry out here at the hospital.
  • The student will be accompanied by a job coach from Calthorpe Vocational Trust  on site
  • Departments will be provided with a Behaviour/Communication profile of the young people who are going on the carousel at least four weeks before the placement
  • The carousel allows the student to spend time on the department prior to the interview
  • Education and Learning and Calthorpe are available to come to you team meetings or meet staff 1-1 at anytime to answer any questions you may have

The Job Carve

Over the summer staff from Calthorpe will visit the department and shadow staff in the department. This will give them an opportunity to explore what tasks the young people may be able to do within the department. It will be an opportunity for you to ask questions, and give feedback.  Remember if there is something you don’t feel is appropriate for the young person, do  let the job coach know.

The Carousel

During November to judge the suitability of students for the department the students will come for two placements days (over two weeks) to the department.

The carousel will allow the student to explore the department further doing the actual tasks they would be doing if they were employed.  The job coach will be on hand to support at all times.

The Interview

During November to judge the suitability of students for the department the students will come for two placements days (over two weeks) to the department.

The carousel will allow the student to explore the department further doing the actual tasks they would be doing if they were employed. 

The Job Coach

Job Coach Lead and Job coaches from Calthorpe Vocational Centre will:

  • Break down disabling barriers and promote disability awareness
  • Job carve duties within departments that may involve developing, designing or customising and modelling jobs. This requires negotiation with staff to agree the reasonable adjustments that are needed for the learners to do the job. It also requires risk assessments to address equality and diversity, health and safety and safeguarding issues.
  • Produce a job card/job list to promote learners independence
  • Support the learners within the departments to maximise their potential to acquire work skills and independence, ongoing problem solving, personal and social development and ongoing development of natural support.

If you would like to contact or follow the Aspire team, please use any of the following

Email: bwc.aspire@nhs.net

Twitter: @AspireBWC

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AspireBWC

 Aspire logo