An event to raise awareness of the benefits of employing local people with disabilities was held in Sutton last week.
Organised by Nottinghamshire County Council, Job Centre Plus, Remploy and Shaw Trust, it gave employers the chance to find out more about the support on offer for firms that employ disabled people.
National employers including Marks and Spencer and Boots shared their experiences and the value of employing people with disabilities.
The county council runs a project called i-Work which offers free support to businesses that offer jobs to people with a learning disability and Asperger’s.
The authority helps to match the right person to the right opportunity and makes sure they have the necessary training and support to enable them to carry out the job.
Coun Muriel Weisz, chair of Adult Social Care, said: “The benefits to a business employing people with a disability are vast, including promoting equal opportunities within their organisation and giving people with a disability the opportunity to achieve their full potential in the workplace.”
The Derbyshire Hotel in South Normanton is one of the local employers that works with organisations to employ people with disabilities.
Angela Hardy, its human resources officer, said: “We have employed many people with a disability at our hotel who are treated like any other member of staff.”
She added: “The people with disabilities who work here are hard-working and have received training before they start so they hit the ground running, which is good for our business.
“I would encourage other businesses to employ people with disabilities as they are widening the pool of potential new recruits for their workforce.”
Amy Howard, (23) from Mansfield Woodhouse, has a learning disability and has worked as a housekeeper at the hotel since October.
She receives support from the i-Work team.
Amy said: “My job at the hotel has boosted my confidence. I really wanted to get into work and love the feeling that I’ve done a good job at the end of a day’s work.
“Everyone has been really helpful and if I’m stuck I can go to people in the i-Work team or at the hotel.”