Employment, skills support services and COVID-19

May 19, 2020 Blog - ENABLE Scotland Jamie Rutherford - Director of Employment

As part of Scottish Learning Disability Week, I wanted to highlight what’s happening across employment and skills support services for people with learning disabilities, as well as other disabled people, during COVID19. Whilst some of our services have slowed down, the majority of our work is carrying on – and the team have adapted incredibly well to working remotely.

We are working a little differently at times – for example, we are currently supporting 75 disabled people who have been furloughed by their employer, helping them understand the situation and prepare for their return to work – and we are also supporting people with learning disabilities who have sadly lost their job as a result of the Coronavirus like so many others.

Even during the lockdown, we have continued supporting people into new jobs – 35 in the last 6 weeks – and some of them in roles essential to the ongoing health of the nation!

I’m sure you all, like me, have been taking part in the weekly clap for our health and social care staff doing their very best to help people with the Coronavirus to recover under extremely difficult circumstances.

You may not have considered that many of those staff themselves have disabilities and long-term health conditions that, despite the uncertainty over increased risk, are in work doing their very best for the nation every day.

ENABLE Works are incredibly proud to be supporting 26 people who are working in key roles, on the frontline of health and social care or in roles that keep the country moving forward, such as retail or logistics.

To name a few, we’re supporting Lynne in Dundee in her role in the administrative team in NHS Ninewells, providing support for the NHS Nurse Bank and processing employee information that keeps the medical team going; Kayleigh in East Kilbride, who is working in a local care home providing care to elderly residents at a very difficult time, and Kara in Edinburgh, working for Tesco to keep the stores ready and stocked for us all.

So, whilst the last 6 weeks have seemed a little gloomy – the wonderful people in ENABLE Works support services and teams have kept me smiling.

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