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North Ayrshire Council is now a Disability Confident Leader

Posted on 23 Sep 2022

North Ayrshire Council have progressed from a Disability Confident: Level 2 Employer to a Disability Confident: Level 3 Leader.

The Disability Confident scheme was developed by employers and disabled people’s representatives and has been running since November 2016.

Since its inception, Disability Confident has created a movement of change, encouraging employers to think differently about disability and take action to improve how they recruit, retain and develop people with disabilities.

As part of being a Disability Confident Leader, the Council have pledged their renewed and ongoing commitment to provide a culture which values diversity, equality and inclusion at its heart.

The Council’s progression to ‘Disability Confident Leader’ status signals the progress they are making in sharing their knowledge and expertise to encourage more employers in the area to become Disability Confident.

It also marks another key milestone in the Council’s continued journey of ensuring the local authority attracts, recruits, and retains people with disabilities and those with long term health conditions in support of their commitment of being a Council that is Fair for All.

In working towards becoming a Disability Confident Leader, the Council has been exploring alternative methods to support the recruitment of diverse talent while removing any barriers in the recruitment process.

An example of the Disability Confident adaptations is the introduction of a See Me CV to assist applicants applying for Council jobs.

Here, a short video CV can be shared, providing disabled applicants with a voluntary alternative method to convey their skills and abilities to the recruiting manager –particularly beneficial for those who would have otherwise found the traditional online or paper application forms challenging to complete.

North Ayrshire Council’s Equal Supported Employment Team have also been working in collaboration with community partners at Eglinton Country Park community garden and the Trinity Active Travel Hub to help people with all abilities to gain confidence and develop their employment skills via gardening and landscaping projects.

The Equal Team supports those with disabilities or long-term health conditions in North Ayrshire into employment and remain a continuous support during their employment. The team also supports local employers to encourage them to adopt a similar approach to employing people with disabilities or long-term health conditions.

Modern Apprentice, Kieran has been supported by the Equal Team throughout his journey with North Ayrshire Council. The additional activities that he attended through Equal have helped to boost his confidence to embrace this new position.

He commented: “The voluntary option for using a See Me CV is a great way to take the initial pressure off applicants when applying for jobs and help them feel at ease during the interview process.

“When applying for my position in the Connected Communities team, I felt at ease due to the additional support given. A See Me CV is a great example of this.

“Once my apprenticeship ends, I feel confident and supported that I will be able to use the skills and experience gained and hopefully stand-out and get noticed in the future when I apply for other jobs in the Council and other potential workplaces.”

Kieran has Autism and with the help of his manager, colleagues and Equal he will continue to be supported in his career development to learn a variety of transferable skills that he can take forward in future admin roles.

Kieran added: “I’m looking forward to my time as a Modern Apprentice and knowing I will be supported every step of the way will help me to complete my apprenticeship and hopefully continue my career within the Council.

“I would definitely encourage other people with disabilities and long-term health conditions who are daunted to take the next step in their career to keep a look-out on the MyJobScotland website and apply for a job at North Ayrshire Council.

“There are lots of great positions advertised, so if you find a role that interests you and matches your skillset, but are in need of a little extra support before applying, I’d recommend contacting the Council’s HR Team* or Supported Employment Team who will be on hand to help you.”

North Ayrshire Councillor Tony Gurney – Cabinet Member for Economy and Climate Change commented: “At North Ayrshire Council we are committed to continuing to be a Council that is Fair for All and so we are proud to now be recognised as a Disability Confident Leader: Level 3.

“Being Disability Confident provides not only the Council but local businesses too with a unique opportunity to lead the way in our communities and create a truly inclusive workforce as we attract, employ and retain people with disabilities and long-term health conditions who live or work in North Ayrshire.

“By stepping up to become a Disability Confident Leader, representatives from our HR and Employability teams will now act as champions within the Council and the local business community by supporting and encouraging them - alongside other partners - to adopt a similar approach to disabilities and in turn provide workplaces for all to thrive.”

*To view the Council’s current vacancies, please visit MyJobScotland, and if unable to apply online, contact the HR Team on 01294 324650 for further support and guidance on how to apply.

To find out more about the Disability Confident scheme visit the website: Disability Confident employer scheme - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

For more information on the support available, visit the webpage: https://www.north-ayrshire.gov.uk/jobs-and-training/working-north-ayrshire.aspx