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Lichfield jobs fair hailed for support of disabled community.

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The Guildhall in Lichfield was buzzing last week with a jobs fair specifically aimed at helping people with an illness or disability to get into work, training or volunteering.

The event – the first of its kind - was run jointly by Bromford and Job Centre Plus to show there are opportunities available, regardless of what challenges people face.

Michelle Huffadine, district operational lead for Job Centre Plus in Midland Shires South, said: “Customers in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) have such lot to offer and are such a valuable asset with untapped talent so we are keen to support them to find work and fulfil their potential. In the Lichfield local authority area there are 4,070 people in receipt of out-of-work benefits, 2,940 of which are in receipt of a disability or health-related benefit.  

“We have been working in collaboration with Bromford for years and have a good synergy and shared agenda to improve everyone’s life – we don't want anyone to feel isolated. We look to help people so no one is left behind.”

Michael Pritchard, Bromford’s employer liaison manager said: “We were delighted that so many people attended. There was a real buzz about the place and we hope that everyone has gone away with more awareness of what’s available and a desire to take the next step and expand their horizons. As this has been so successful, we will definitely be looking to organise more events like this.”

Alison Wellon of ‘Friends 2 Friends’ – a Lichfield group supporting disabled people - said: “Today's event was excellent as a lot of people attended and we have interest from people who want to volunteer, people interested in joining us and have also spoken to people about partnership work. A very successful day."

Seventeen other employers and providers attended, including:

Talent Match who are looking for 18-24 year olds to recruit volunteers as mentors working to support young people into employment;

South Staffordshire College with training opportunities and details of distance learning courses;

Business Enterprise Support with self employment advice and guidance;

Extra Care, responsible for care packages at Beacon Park Retirement Village, who had live opportunities (17 application forms were completed during the event);

Nova Training shared their various training opportunities available including apprenticeships.

One attendee said: “I struggle to pay my mortgage so really want to find a job. People were friendly so I wasn’t afraid to approach them and was surprised to see what help is available.”

For more information about live opportunities contact Jo Rowley or Elaine Jones at Lichfield Job Centre Plus on 07717 868165 or Michael Pritchard on 01543 420848 or 07841 928238.

  • ESA supports people when work is not an immediate option due to a health related disability.

Photo left to right: Jo Rowley, Michelle Huffadine and Elaine Jones from Job Centre Plus.