“Opening Minds, Opening Doors” will be the title of the Jersey Employment Trust’s (JET) “Able to Work” conference which is being held on Thursday 3rd October at the Hotel de France. The conference will focus on disability and employment; the launch of the JET Able to Work – States of Jersey Internships which is a new initiative between JET and the States of Jersey.
Delegates will actively participate in workshops at the event providing direct input into how the scheme can be developed further and replicated within the private sector thus becoming a recognised island wide initiative. The JET internship scheme will specifically provide opportunities for people with disabilities and long-term health conditions to gain further skills for work and so will be a new experience for employers separate to the graduate internships that take place currently within the private sector. The event will also include the JET Employer Awards ceremony where an Employer of the Year winner will be announced on the day.
During the event Chief Minister Ian Gorst will provide a perspective from the States of Jersey on the topic of disability and employment. The Director of Human Resources in the States of Jersey, Mark Sinclair, will also address the conference to introduce the new initiative internships. Speak Out, a group of JET service users, will provide a presentation about “inspirational people”. Finally, guest speaker Francesca Martinez – who describes herself as a ‘wobbly’ comedian – will share her own experiences and perceptions regarding employment and disability. Francesca is a Comedian/Speaker/Actress/Writer and defines herself by what she can do and not by what she can’t do, making her a moving, uplifting and unforgettable speaker.”
More info at: http://www.francescamartinez.com/html/flashsite.swf
Delegates at the event include JET service users (people with a disability or long term health condition), Jersey employers (from the private and public sector), linked agencies as well as a number of States members. The topic of ‘Opening Minds, Opening Doors’ will promote diversity in the workplace and encourage non-discriminative practices in relation to employment and ensuring all people are provided with equal opportunities.
JET’s Chairman Stephen Platt said: “Having a forum to discuss disability and employment with employers on the Island is essential and allows us to highlight the importance of continuing to provide opportunities for people with a disability or long term health condition particularly in the current climate. It reminds employers of the untapped skill base that is available.
“This year’s conference will provide the audience with a feel good factor including people with disabilities who are seen as ‘inspirational’. It will also address the issue of how to provide equal opportunities and be non-judgemental when it comes to disability and employment. The new initiative internships provided by the States of Jersey for JET service users identifies another way of providing people with opportunities to develop within a real workplace and benefit from on the job learning and training.”
The conference will include JET’s third Employer Awards event, the first was in 2009. This year there are eight employers from a variety of business sectors who will receive an “Outstanding Employer Award”. This award recognises the support and commitment from the employers in relation to promoting employment of people with a disability or long-term health issue.
Although these employers are winners in their own right, JET will be announcing a special award at the conference for “Employer of the Year”.