Contractors back supported employment in North Lanarkshire



(from left) Liam Doyle, Allied Timber employee; Alistair Shanks, director of Allied Timber; Ian Gillespie, project services manager and Paul Ruston, job coach at the event
(from left) Liam Doyle, Allied Timber employee; Alistair Shanks, director of Allied Timber; Ian Gillespie, project services manager and Paul Ruston, job coach at the event

A lack of advertising costs and filling vacancies with motivated employees are just some of the business benefits awaiting contractors who employ people from North Lanarkshire Council’s Supported Employment service, firms were told this week.

In a first for the council’s Supported Employment team, an information event was held involving council contactors to make them aware of the service and how it can make a positive difference to their recruitment.

Supported Employment helps people with learning disabilities, acquired brain injury, mental health issues and young care leavers find employment. It matches vacancies with the right person to do the job. In addition a job coach works with the employer and employee to provide ongoing support.

Maureen Cook, service manager for Supported Employment, who spoke at the event, said: “The figures speak for themselves. We’re currently working with over 100 local businesses and almost two thirds of the companies (64 per cent) of the people we support in work are employed by companies who have recruited from us more than once.

“Currently we’re supporting 176 people in jobs, with over 75 per cent of people remaining in their jobs for two years or more. We have 79 people looking for work now in a range of sectors including construction and manufacturing and I’m hoping by presenting about the service we can find more employment opportunities.”

Contractors enjoyed a packed session and also heard from property services manager, Ian Gillespie, who outlined the responsibility we all have to work together to improve economic opportunities and outcomes for local residents, and a testimonial from Alistair Shanks of Allied Timber, Coatbridge, who detailed his positive experience of supported employment and how he now has six employees in his workforce from the service.

Liam Doyle, a general operative at Gavin Shanks, told the contractors of his journey after he left college and how having a job has changed his life.

He said: “Before I got my job I was bored, lacked confidence and felt I was wasting my time, but with the help of my job coach I was successful in getting a job with Gavin Shanks. I work 40 hours each week in a job I love for over three years now. I’m now happier, have more money, go on holidays and feel valued.”

Contractors attending the session, held in Bellshill, included Rhodar Ltd, Morrison Construction, Walker Profiles, Sidey, Lovell Partnerships, AC Whyte and Environtec.

Jim Gibson, director with Walker Profiles, added: “I was very interested to learn of the work carried out by the Supported Employment Team and impressed by the commitment of the team and their candidates. I am now looking at any opportunities within our business in which we may be able to engage with the programme.”

Follow up meetings with all the contractors have been arranged to progress supported employees helping to fill suitable current and future vacancies.



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