#DisabilityWorks - employer of the week

As the facilities support assistant for NHS Sheffield Clinical Commisioning group, Daniel O'Brient works nearly 19 hours a week.

Tuesday, 22nd November 2016, 2:12 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd November 2016, 1:02 pm
Daniel OBrient

He has held the job for over three months and it’s work the bubbly Sheffield lad really enjoys.

Daniel, who has been diagnosed with dyslexia and dyspraxia which affect his fine motor coordination, interviewed for the job after Sheffield City Council referred the CCG to Big Ambitions - a Sheffield group which specialises in vocational support and sustainable employment for individuals with different mental health conditions.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

A spokesman for Big Ambitions said: “As an employer with strong corporate social responsibility, the CCG were keen to contribute towards Sheffield’s strategy to make employment more accessible to individuals with additional needs.

“With our advice, guidance and training, the CCG developed their recruitment practices to make them more accessible to individuals with learning disabilities.

“The post was originally a dual post of administration duties and housekeeping and facilities support, but we advised that the two sections of the role required completely different skill sets that could eliminate potential candidates with learning difficulties, so CCG carried out some job carving and redesigned the role to two 18.75 hour roles.

“We advertised the vacancy and sourced and matched suitable candidates for the role, submitting nine candidates to the CCG, six of which were shortlisted to interview stage.

“Next we devised and delivered bespoke training to the recruitment panel, with the aim of developing an understanding of interviewing potential employees with social and learning barriers and disabilities.

“Two individuals were hired and the CCG provided constructive feedback to all that the candidates that were interviewed.

“Daniel was ecstatic to have been offered his role and started paid employment in June. Since starting his job, he has received full job coach support consisting of in-work assessments, task analysis and motivational support.

“He is developing well and his confidence has grown as he becomes more and more independent. He is tkaing on new challenges and is still currently receiving full job coach support which will fade as time goes on until he is carrying out the job unaided.”

Sue Laing, corporate services risk and governance manager at NHS Sheffield CCG, said: “This process has opened my eyes to learning disabilities and the difficulties people like Daniel have to face getting into work.

“We have had to dedicate some time to help Daniel adapt into the working environment but this has been supported by the Job Coaches. The organisation is also committed to providing the necessary support and opportunities for him and we have found working alongside their Job Coaches has given the team the confidence to work with and support Daniel in the best possible way.

“It has been really gratifying to see him, and the other successful candidate, develop skills they didn’t have before and fit into the working environment and it is a real privilege to be part of the project and to watch them develop, grow in confidence and overcome obstacles that many of us take for granted.”