CamdenAbility, a joint project improving employment opportunities for disabled people in Camden and now in its second year of delivery has an ambitious goal of creating a network of employers who have improved how they attract, recruit and retain disabled people in the area.
CamdenAbility is delivered by Business Disability Forum (BDF) with Cross River Partnership, and funded by Camden Council. It aims to improve disability confidence in businesses throughout the London Borough of Camden, and therefore to increase employment opportunities for Camden residents with disabilities, impairments or long term health conditions.
Building on success in 2017
During 2017, CamdenAbility created 24 employment or work experience opportunities. The project team also:
- Provided coaching to 78 people to prepare them for work.
- Secured the support of 23 employers, who joined the CamdenAbility network.
- Ran 6 training and awareness workshops for employers.
In its second year CamdenAbility has enlarged its network to 30 employers, and is working towards specific deliverables such as;
- Providing specialist support to 60 people to help them prepare to enter employment
- Securing jobs for 20 people
- Securing work experience, interview practice, and job shadowing for 30 people
- Enhancing disability awareness amongst the 30 employers involved in the project to help them improve how they attract, recruit and retain people with disabilities
A unique approach
This employability model is unique in that there is comprehensive candidate support (provided by Cross River Partnership) and extensive employer support (provided by Business Disability Forum). This approach enables candidates to be better prepared for entering employment and ensures that employers are able to remove the barriers that disabled people historically have faced in recruitment processes.
Adrian Ward, Senior Disability Consultant at Business Disability Forum, is part of the CamdenAbility project team.
“We have increased the scale of this project in order to increase the reach and impact of this work. This year we are working with more employers and more candidates with the ultimate aim of creating more employment opportunities. We are always keen for more employers to join the project, particularly employers who are willing to offer employment opportunities to the candidates involved in CamdenAbility.
“Our ambition is to leave a legacy of a network of employers who have increased their disability awareness as a result of participating in the project and as such have increased the number of disabled people who successfully apply for roles within their organisation.
“Beyond the life of this project we are currently identifying funding opportunities to expand the project to focus on multiple London boroughs or on locations outside of London. This is an exciting and challenging ambition for this project but we know we have developed a model which can be lifted and replicated elsewhere and are keen to do so.”
Find out more about the CamdenAbility project on our website.