27 February 2009

Project is helping disabled young people into work

(From Worcester News)

3:10am Wednesday 25th February 2009
A SPECIALIST recruitment branch in Worcester has been invited to provide candidates for a prestigious European mentoring project to help young people with disabilities get into work.
Remploy has been asked to help with the Validating Mentoring 2 (VM2) project, which is run by six international partners, including the University of Worcester.

Project officer Charlie Wise said: “The project’s focus is to enhance the employability skills of young people with disabilities through mentoring, so they are better placed to secure employment. It helps candidates develop realistic and relevant insights into the world of work and enhances their abilities to meet everyday life and work challenges.”

Remploy, the UK’s leading provider of employment services for people with disabilities and health conditions, delivers the Government’s Pathways to Work programme in Worcestershire.
Its branch at the Butts in Worcester provides a range of specialist services and advice to support people off incapacity benefit and into employment.

Pathways to Work district manager Sharon Withe said: “We see this as a valuable extension of the branch’s services. Compared with their peers, disabled people can often lack formal qualifications which has obvious effects on their employability.

“Through our collaboration with the university and this programme our mentees can benefit from the advice and real-life experiences of local business leaders.”
Volunteer mentors are recruited and trained by the university and seven mentoring relationships have already been established with Remploy clients.
Dr Val Chapman, project director at the University of Worcester, said: “VM2 is funded by the Leonardo da Vinci programme of the European Commission.
“The project ends in September this year.

“If proven successful, it could potentially be used as a blueprint for a new mentoring scheme to be run in conjunction with Remploy and Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce.”

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