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Our Learning Programme

In Spring 2023 we launched the Academy of Empowered Employers.

We know that just asking employers to change the way that they recruit is really important, but what happens when a disabled person makes it to an interview? Whether or not that person is a successful candidate is in large part down to the attitudes of the employer. We also know that there is no-one-size-fits-all package of support that will work for every employer or all disabled people.

For that reason, we ran a programme of open learning events in Spring and Summer 2023, which was delivered by national training organisations and experts. A total of 50 different organisations in Gloucestershire, from a range of sectors, took part in this training to look at disabling barriers in the workplace. This training supported employers to make practical adjustments but also challenge thinking about disability. On our ‘Resources’ page you can find more information from these training sessions which may be helpful for your workplace.

As part of the campaign, we are also collaborating with disability employment experts Evenbreak. They are running learning sessions for partner organisations of the Empowered Employers campaign.

Below is a short film from Disability Rights UK, one of the training providers that highlights what was involved in some of the training.

For more details on these sessions please click here

Share our Resources

Connect with us on our social media channels. We will be sharing resources and  social media and digital content that addresses the common misconceptions about disability and employment.

This content is available to view and download on our Resources page.

Media downloads

Meet our Partners

Empowered Employers has been co-designed by a group of organisations and businesses in Gloucestershire and Experts By Lived Experience. These employers, which include some of the largest commercial employers in the county, have been attending a series of learning sessions delivered by disability employment expert Jane Hatton (CEO of Evenbreak). Experts by Lived Experience have co-designed the content of these learning sessions. We will be documenting the outcomes from the employers’ learning and sharing these as part of the campaign.

Details of these partners can be found below by clicking on the logos below.

Barnwood Trust

What do we do?

Barnwood Trust’s vision is to create the best possible environment in Gloucestershire for disabled people and people with mental health challenges to make the most of their lives. We act primarily as an agent of social change, working with disabled people and people with mental health challenges to change conditions impacting on them, using both the Trust’s financial and people resources to support that social change.  Our goals are delivered through a programme of funding, listening and learning, and changing conditions.

Why did we start this campaign?

Disabled people, people with mental health challenges and neurodiverse people already make up the workforce but we also know that often unintentional barriers and attitudes mean that disabled people are paid less, aren’t in decision making positions and can’t always do the type of work that matters to them. This isn’t just bad for disabled people, it’s also bad for business.

Barnwood Trust
Clean Slate - Training & Employment

What do we do?

Clean Slate helps people on a low income to take control of their finances, find work (or better work) and feel confident online. Quids in! is our money skills initiative, which includes a website full of news, tips, tricks and guidance, a quarterly magazine and monthly Reader’s Club e-newsletter. 

Why are we involved in the campaign?

We believe that with some small adjustments, employers can benefit from a much more diverse workforce. 

Our Elements programme is successfully offering an alternative route into employment. We support people who have used our services and mentor them into work within the wider care and support industry. Many of our colleagues came to us for help at first and their life experience is now benefiting our clients.

Clean Slate Ltd
Believe in More - Creed

What do we do?

Creed Foodservice is one of the UK’s leading independent, family-owned foodservice wholesalers, specialising in providing a comprehensive range of products and services to caterers and chefs across the UK, including Grocery, Frozen, Chilled, Creed Fresh Produce, Creed Family Butchers, Beverages, Alcohol and Non-food categories. 

From our three distribution centres based in Staverton in Gloucestershire, Ilkeston in Derbyshire, and High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, our route network stretches across the country making us a national foodservice distributor in ‘out of home’ markets including care, education, hospitality, and destination leisure. 

We work hard to ensure our Great People, Great Place to Work strategy continually evolves to meet the changing needs of our company , the people who work there and the people we want to attract to join us. Our people are engaged in and committed to living our company values, ensuring they’re commercial, friendly, nurturing, and proud.

Why are we involved in the campaign?

We measure the engagement of our people though the national best companies survey and we were very pleased to have recently been announced as one of the top 100 best companies to work for in the UK , having previously achieved this just before the pandemic hit in 2020.

However, we continually look to improve our business and we realise that in an ever-changing world we must continue to develop further and look for new ways to ensure we become even more inclusive and caring in the approaches that we take. In 2022 we have continued to be focused on our wellbeing, charity and inclusion, equity, and diversity strategies. We are really pleased to be partnering with Barnwood to support the Empowered Employers campaign which we are sure will help us to learn how we can further evolve our business proactively to become more inclusive of disabled, neurodivergent people and those living with mental health challenges.

Creed Foodservice
Hooray Recruitment

What do we do?

Hooray is an independent recruitment agency based in the heart of Cheltenham and Milton Keynes. Our recruitment consultants partner with candidates and businesses across the whole of the U.K, helping to bring the best talent, to the right job.

What aspect of the campaign do we feel is most important or relevant to our business?

Recruitment process and helping to implement processes to better help employers and employees as well as been part of the social change and awareness campaign to help shift attitudes and create a more inclusive working world.

Hooray Works
Hydro Aluminium

What do we do?

Hydro Aluminium have 3 aluminium extrusion manufacturing sites and 2 aluminium fabrication sites in the UK.

Why are we involved in the campaign?

We recognise that within our organization we are very good at the education of our employees and managers in equality, diversity, inclusion and belonging and we understand the benefits that having a diverse workforce can bring however when we then analyze our workforce diversity remains low. We don’t believe that our polices or practices purposely discriminate against anyone in particular however we are, we think, still failing to attract people from all sectors of our communities and we wish to change across all of our UK sites.

We are hoping that being part of this campaign may help me bring new ideas to the company in attracting all applicants and working with organisations to ensure that once attracted that we have the facilities and support in place to allow them a happy and fulfilling work environment.

Renishaw - apply innovation

What do we do?

Renishaw is one of the world’s leading engineering and scientific technology companies, with expertise in precision measurement and healthcare. The company supplies products and services used in applications as diverse as jet engine and wind turbine manufacture, through to 3D printing, dentistry and brain surgery.

The Renishaw Group currently has 77 offices in 36 countries, with over 5,000 employees, of which over 2,500 people are employed within the UK. For the year ended June 2021 Renishaw achieved sales of £565.6 million, of which 95% was due to exports. The company’s largest markets are China, USA, Japan and Germany.

Why are we involved in the campaign?

Renishaw is committed to its journey of diversity and inclusion, and recognise that disability, mental health and neurodiversity are a key focus. As Gloucestershire’s largest private sector employer we are focused on being an inclusive employer and working hard to improve diversity within our business.  

We are delighted to support the Empowered Employers campaign to continue the conversation with other partners around attitudes, policy, and adjustments. The learning programme will provide support to us in making the most of the skills of people with disabilities across our organisation, and help to recruit from the widest possible pool of talent.