In the second half of July, Robert Elston, Chief Executive of Status Employment, LEAD Expert Partner, held an online training and consultancy session for the project team members from Romania, Lithuania and Portugal.
Robert, who has over 30 years of experience in Supported Employment, spoke to our colleagues about this model,focusing on how to initiate and build, step by step, a relationship between the Supported Employment Specialist and the potential employer of people who request our services.
The Chief Executive of Status Employment emphasised the importance of a good understanding of the labour market by Supported Employment Specialists (legal framework, tax facilities and benefits granted to employers working with people with disabilities as well as their obligations). Starting off with these fundamental elements, Robert talked about concrete ways to identify suitable jobs for young adults enrolled in the LEAD project (for example, attending events organised by chambers of commerce and in business and exhibition centres). He also mentioned the importance of how their points of view are presented to the management team of the companies where the personnel placement is desired.
The core idea in Robert’s lecture is that the relationship between the Supported Employment Specialist and the employer is one of partnership, not a classic relationship between provider and beneficiary. In addition, using this model, within the LEAD project, the employer does not pay the costs for the identification, recruitment and insertion of the employee, costs estimated at about 600 EUR/person.
According to the Chief Executive of Status Employment, the Supported Employment Specialist must have a positive attitude, must be polite and empathetic. In order to be successful, it is necessary to prepare the meetings with the employers thoroughly, stressing the long-term partnership relationship, and the win-win solutions offered.
The session delivered by Robert was an excellent opportunity for our colleagues to talk about issues they face locally and nationally, ask questions and obtain valuable information about the steps that need to be taken for a successful Supported Employment process.