INTERNS with a learning disability who are seeking employment opportunities came together with local businesses last week as national learning disability charity Hft hosted a reverse job fair at Flint Library in Flintshire.
Four interns from the GXO Programme and five from the Clwyd Alyn Programme, both run by Hft and DFN Project SEARCH, the employability programme for learning disabled adults, attended the fair, together with two people supported by Hft as part of the work options team.
Katie Worrall, one of Hft/Project SEARCH’s employability tutors in Flintshire said:
“Our interns were looking for a variety of jobs within hospitality and catering, administration and domestic work.
“We had six different businesses who attended as well as local members of the council. The feedback we received on the day was very positive; everyone enjoyed chatting with our interns and seeing their achievements on their job boards and some employers took the CVs of our interns to consider for any vacancies they had.”
The job fair was part of ongoing job searching for the interns, all of whom are currently looking for work. The aim of the reverse jobs fair is to get employers in the room to meet them and see their skills.
“This is the opposite of what you would expect at a typical job fair where the employers have the stalls. I think the fair was a really good opportunity to connect our interns with local businesses and opportunities. It was great to see the confidence in our interns who have worked so hard this year, as they spoke about themselves and their experiences. There was a lovely atmosphere in the room and a real sense of community. It will be a bonus if we get any outcomes from the day.”
Dan Kirkham, one of the interns who attended the day, said:
“I enjoyed showing people what I have been learning on my job board. I liked speaking to people and felt very confident. I liked seeing other interns’ boards as well.”
The recruitment drive follows the recent launch of the Tap into the Talent toolkit, developed and funded in partnership with Hft, the North Wales Together Learning Disability Transformation Team, a partnership between the six county councils and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.
Tap into the Talent is part of wider work the programme partners are doing to improve the supported employment offer for learning disabled people known to social services in North Wales with the added benefit of helping to tackle skills shortages in the area.
For further information on the toolkit or the employability of DFN Project SEARCH interns, please contact Julia.firstname.lastname@example.org.