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Wandsworth: Work Right

  • By London Councils

Wandsworth: Work Right aims to increase the number of people with disabilities employed.

This is done both directly by the council as well as externally, and is expanding into the local health economy.

Feedback from people who have benefitted from the scheme is positive. A Finance Officer in the council’s children’s services department, said: “Work Right is life-changing. It has helped me to build my confidence and develop new skills and it really stands up for the council’s ethos of equal opportunities.”  

It is not about creating extra jobs but instead aims to match candidates with disabilities to real vacancies. Work Right helps to achieve council-wide objectives as part of its duty under the Equalities Act 2010, as well as helping disabled people to live as independently as possible; reducing reliance on statutory services and welfare benefits, improving individuals’ health and wellbeing, and raising aspirations for employment and developing disabled people’s practical skills and work experience.

After a successful pilot phase within the adult social services department, a Work Right coordinator was employed for two years to roll out the scheme across all council departments. Significant results have been achieved. To date:

  • 96 referrals have been made to the scheme since April 2012
  • 54 people have had work experience placements within  five departments and schools
  • 18 people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and mental health conditions have achieved paid jobs with the council
  • 10 people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and mental health conditions have achieved work with external employers following work experience with the council
  • six people have offers of paid work with the council pending.

There is continuing support for the scheme from the Director of Adult Social Services, and the Head of Human Resources. The programme assists the council’s equality aims in employing more disabled staff as well as linking to the Aspirations agenda by providing opportunities for Wandsworth residents.