Local businesses, including employers and recruiters, are invited to meet disabled job hunters and career switchers at Sense’s Pan Disability Job Fair in Selly Oak next month.
The annual job fair, which has been running since 2022, provides an accessible, supportive environment for employers to meet disabled jobseekers. National disability charity Sense, which runs the two-day event, will provide communication support for all attendees, including BSL interpreters, scribers and sight guides.
Employers and recruiters will also be supported through training on awareness and accessibility, including how to ensure your stand is as accessible as possible. The event is free for both employers and jobseekers. The job fair will be held at Sense TouchBase Pears, as part of the charity’s mission to support more disabled people into work and defeat the 29 per cent employment gap* between disabled people and the overall population.
Last year, more than 30 employers exhibited at the job fair, which was attended by more than 230 jobseekers. One of those exhibitors was Starbucks. Lindsay Townsend, Store Manager at West Bromwich Starbucks Store said: “Last year, our West Bromwich and New Street Store teams attended the Sense Pan Disability Job Fair to help disabled jobseekers find meaningful employment in the local community.
“This forms part of our wider commitment to creating a culture of warmth and belonging in our stores, providing an environment that is accessible for everyone. Our store team members spent the day talking to attendees about job opportunities at Starbucks, supporting people to secure employment last year.
“We are attending again this year and we look forward to supporting more people to find meaningful employment in local businesses.” Electrical and digital infrastructure company Legrand also attended the job fair last year. Monique Fearon, Regional HR Manager at Legrand, said: “Legrand's participation in the Sense Pan Disability Job Fair last year not only helped us connect with disabled jobseekers and build relationships with companies such as Queen Alexandra College and the DWP, it also gave our brand significant exposure to a new talent pool, further enhancing our reputation as an inclusive and socially responsible organisation.
“This is such an invaluable event for everyone involved, and we look forward to participating again this year.” The job fair is hosted by Sense’s employment team, who run a specialist employment service helping people with complex disabilities and those who are deafblind into work.
“The team recently ran its first ever accessible job fair in Leicestershire, in Sense’s new hub in Loughborough. Employers in attendance included Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, Loughborough University and Leicestershire Police. Zoe Bates, Employment Co-Ordinator at Sense, said: “Sense’s Pan Disability Job Fair is a fantastic opportunity for employers to engage with disabled jobseekers, and to see the amazing potential that they have.
“This will be our third year running the event, and in the past two years we’ve had hundreds of disabled jobseekers through the doors. Jobseekers have built some great connections with local employers, securing opportunities like voluntary work experience and paid work too.
“Employers have fed back to us that they really appreciate the opportunity to engage with local jobseekers and that our service helps to bridge the gap between disabled jobseekers and employment. We’re warmly welcoming applications from employers to attend the event so please get in touch if you’d like more information.”
The Pan Disability Job Fair in Birmingham will take place on 14-15 May 2024, from 10am-3pm.