After WorkFit’s successes in England, 2014 saw the beginning of a new chapter for the project.
We were awarded two grants to continue this valuable work in Wales and the North East and North West of England. During the summer of 2014 work began with the appointment of two new Employment Development Officers, both looking to raise the work aspirations of young people and adults with Down’s syndrome and supporting them into meaningful work opportunities.
Successes in Wales:
- 13 candidates have registered onto WorkFit in Wales, 11 of these are actively seeking work opportunities now
- 1 candidate has entered paid employment on a permanent contract
- 6 separate employers have been contacted and are looking at putting in place valuable work experience opportunities for 6 of our candidates.
Successes in North East and North West of England:
- 9 candidates assessed and are actively looking for work in Manchester, Durham and Newcastle
- Contact made with keen employers such as SMG Europe (who are responsible for venues like Manchester and Newcastle arena), The Lowry, Gala Theatre and Premier Inn in Durham
- 1 candidate will enter a 12 week placement in January
Successes in the South West of England:
- Award-winning restaurateur and chef Mitch Tonks employed a young man with DS in one of his restaurants in Bristol
- 6 candidates assessed and are actively looking for work in Devon
- Excellent partnership with Okehampton College in Devon to support them in securing work placements for their students with DS
The future of WorkFit in 2015
We will continue to raise the profile of WorkFit with private sector employers, local authorities and business forums. As more employers participate in the programme, this will result in an active employer database with employers who are ready, willing and able to employ someone with DS.
We want to encourage candidates to register and local DS Support groups to come forward so we can continue to support.
Your local knowledge is important to us in order to provide a sustainable local WorkFit network.
We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and we look forward to working with you in the New Year!