A council-backed event for local businesses to hire applicants with disabilities returns in October.
The Reverse Jobs Fair, which is open to applicants with disabilities looking for everything from a permanent post to a temporary work placement, will be held at Croydon College on October 11, from 10.30am-12.30pm.
Croydon Council held its first of these specialist jobs fairs last year, where 25 skilled applicants with physical, learning, autism or mental health disabilities networked with around 20 visiting employers who pitched their vacancies in the retail, tourism and care sectors.
This year’s event already has more than 30 interested businesses from sectors ranging from retail and construction to catering and transport.
The event is designed to increase recruiters’ awareness of what the candidates can offer and to improve applicants’ job prospects. The Reverse Jobs Fair also means prospective employers have already read applicants’ CVs and know about their abilities before they meet.
Last year’s event led to four permanent jobs, one apprenticeship offer, one paid work placement, five work trials and 14 offers of work experience. One person to benefit was Bianca Maguire, who has since worked for George Street-based London Economic Development Company; first as a work placement and now permanently for 16 flexible hours a week as a project manager working on the business’s eastern European tours.
Born with cystic fibrosis, the 28-year-old had previously left a long-term job in west London after a period of poor health, and had then found some employers hesitant to take her on before she was referred to the Reverse Jobs Fair.
“Anyone with a disability should go because it’s a really friendly atmosphere – everyone that comes up to you is already interested and it’s a confidence boost, so it’s definitely worth going along and seeing what happens,” Maguire said.
“It worked for me, so I’m sure it will work for other people as well.”
Recruiters or disabled applicants wanting more information can email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0208 726 6000 extension 13608.
For information about how companies can employ more people with disabilities, visit the British Association of Supported Employment website.
The reverse jobs fair is organised by Croydon Council with support from Status Employment, Mind in Croydon, the Department for Work and Pensions and the business and charitable sectors.
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