Falklands hero to inspire people with a learning disability into work

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Posted on 25 November 2013
He will showcase a “can do” approach and help to make the connection between local employers and a potential workforce of the future.

Falklands War hero Simon Weston will be star guest at an event to match employers with potential employees who have learning disabilities.

The one day seminar on Thursday 12 December aims to engage people with a learning disability in the world of work because it can prove extremely difficult for them to gain meaningful employment or work experience.

Keele University, Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC) and Strathmore College are running the event in partnership to provide employers with the opportunity to share experiences and showcase the benefits of employing people with a learning disability. 

This seminar titled ‘Engaging People with a learning disability in the world of work’ will also give potential employees the chance of short-term placements through to full employment.

As well as Simon Weston, there will be an opening address from Professor Sue Read, Professor of Learning Disability Nursing at Keele University’s School of Nursing, and presentations from Anita Thomas, Employability Manager, at Marks & Spencer and Matt Reed, Director of Private Sector, Commercial at Remploy.

In 1982 Simon Weston was on board the Sir Galahad ship when it was destroyed in Bluff Cove on the Falkland Islands. The Welsh Guardsman became famous for his recovery and charity work after suffering severe burn injuries (46%).

Said Kym Billington-Baddley, Keele University’s Enterprise Business Manager, “We are keen to encourage employers and potential employees to attend this inspiring event as Simon's message is one of achievement, of triumph over adversity, and of seizing the moment and succeeding. We know that he will showcase a “can do” approach and help to make the connection between local employers and a potential workforce of the future”

Advice Teams will be available for consultation on a range of issues associated with providing work experiences and employment, including support for employers and advice about the impact on benefit recipients.

Professor Nick Foskett, Vice Chancellor, Keele University, said: “The focus of the day is an issue which is important to us at Keele, as we are strongly committed to two key agendas. The first is to do whatever we can to contribute to the economic and social development of our locality (and beyond). The second is a strong commitment to deliver around issues of equality, and to ensure that individuals can achieve whatever their personal background or challenges. We support such developments within Keele and we are keen to support them beyond Keele too. I am sure that the programme for today will support good progress in both of these fields, and I am delighted that Keele is a key partner in this development.”

The event takes place at Newcastle-under-Lyme College, Knutton Lane, Newcastle, Staffordshire from 9.30 am to 4 pm. To book a stand or a place at the event, or for further information, please contact: Keele Events Team on http://www.keele-conferencemanagement.com/ldevent2013 or call Kym in the Research & Enterprise Services for more information: 01782 734465