Last Wednesday, employers from the surrounding area came to an employer engagement event titled, “Working Together, Working Better.” This event was hosted by Zest Café and Opportunities Fife and the professional groups represented to answer questions included Supported Employment Service, SDS, Enable Scotland, and Fife Council. The purpose of the night was to inform employers of the benefits and rewards from investing in disadvantaged young people, which is a topic that Zest is very passionate about.  The four main goals of the night were to:

  • -Increase work opportunities for people with additional needs
  • -Provide employers with information about the services available that can support them to diversify their teams, and support people.
  • -Engage with a larger number of employers
  • -Increase networking between employment service providers and employers

It was reported that these goals were met, and we hope some employers were inspired to take action and consider the meaning of “working together, working better.”

Thinking about this event provoked me to ask Zest employees what they think about Zest being a work placement. The employees work side by side, help train, and encourage the people on work experience. Signing on to be a work placement for people with disabilities affects the entire team. All members of our team at Zest understand the mission of the business and are asked to participate, be patient, enjoy, and learn. We have had the opportunity to take courses on disability awareness, sign language courses, etc. Here are some responses from Zest employees.

“Working with disadvantaged young people has taught me the real value of diversity in the business. Diversity makes it fun to come to work.” Charissa

“One of the women on work placement is one of loveliest people and most hard working souls I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with! She is desperate to help in any way she can which makes Sunday afternoon shifts all the more pleasant.” Megan

“Watching them learn and become more confident makes me happy and makes me feel more confident.” Jeuvgenij

Helpful links:

https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Jobs-Careers/SupportedEmployment.aspx
http://www.enable.org.uk/Pages/Enable_Home.aspx