Matthew Neville

South Yorkshire businesses unite to promote benefits of “flexible and inclusive” employment

More than 170 representatives from South Yorkshire businesses attended the launch of a new project focused on creating employment opportunities for autistic people and people with learning disabilities.

Gulliver’s Valley hosted the Employment is for Everyone launch event, which shared solutions for local businesses to fill vacancies and retain staff. Employment is for Everyone is creating a movement across South Yorkshire to increase employment opportunities for neurodivergent people.

The movement has been created through the collaboration between four local community enterprises (Speakup, DEXX, Artworks and EDLounge) and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council. It came about following a South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System (ICS) event and the ICS continue to endorse the project.

The event, held in collaboration with Gulliver’s Valley, RMBC/RiDO and DFN Project SEARCH, showed employers how inclusive hiring strategies can “overcome recruitment issues while helping to achieve social value commitments”.

Market leaders discussed the benefits of encouraging diversity in the workplace and shared success stories. Information on supported internships and support into employment is now available for people and employers following the launch of the new Employment is for Everyone website.

Andy Flowers, resort manager at Gulliver’s Valley, said: “It was great to see so many people in attendance at this event. At a time when many South Yorkshire businesses are struggling with recruitment, this is a great initiative with which we are proud to partner.

“Gulliver’s Valley is a flexible and inclusive employer and we hope this unique event will help other employers in the region see the benefits of this approach to recruitment.”

Jodie Bradley, founding member of Employment is for Everyone, added: “We were thrilled to launch Employment is for Everyone at Gulliver’s Valley.

“Being in employment transforms people’s lives. It also has a positive impact on business productivity and its employees. We know businesses across South Yorkshire are facing significant challenges in terms of recruitment and filling vacancies.

“We also know that businesses across our region like to be market leaders and have a competitive edge. Together with our partners, we believe we have some of the solutions to the recruitment issues local businesses face.”

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