Colleagues at Swindon’s not-for-profit adult social care and community health provider SEQOL are celebrating after winning a national award in for their work in supporting those with disabilities into paid employment.
The RIDI awards, the UK recruitment industry’s only disability awards, highlights progress made on disability in recruitment nationwide. Disabled people make up one fifth of the population, and RIDI is removing barriers to work, increasing understanding and helping people with disabilities reach their aspirations and potential.
SEQOL’s supported employment team picked up the award for Innovation in Assessment, for taking an innovative approach to assessing people who might not be able to demonstrate their skills and talents through more traditional assessment methods.
SEQOL business partner Simon Billingham was at the ceremony in London with SEQOL’s employment coordinator, Sarah Mullery, who was herself a supported employee before completing her traineeship and being appointed to her current role.
Simon said: “It was so thrilling to hear that we had won. We have a fantastic team who work so hard to tailor our placements to each individual as much as possible, and equip trainees with the skills and experience to progress into unsupported workplaces, and they can be very proud that their efforts have been recognised.”
The judges said that they selected SEQOL as a great example of how often the simple things make the biggest difference.
A statement from the RIDI organiser said the judges noted: “This social enterprise has limited resources but plenty of passion. By removing the traditional interview and replacing with a less formal assessment method they have trebled the number of job outcomes for disabled people.”
SEQOL CEO Heather Mitchell said the win was confirmation that the work that the supported employment team is of cutting edge quality. “Because SEQOL is employee-owned and reinvests its surpluses into the community we are able to work far more creatively than many organisations.”
“It is heartening to hear the judges highlight how we are making a considerable difference with limited resources. I know that my colleagues are hugely creative in finding ways to deliver a top-quality service, but to have that confirmed on the national stage is very gratifying indeed.”