iCan SEND friendly employers

As part of the iCan Careers Event this year we wanted to collate a list of businesses and employers who have pledged this year to be a SEND friend employer for young people. Please find the list below!

Please note this is not an official accredited scheme, but we aim to highlight to young people that there are many businesses in East Sussex that are working towards inclusivity and may welcome them in the future. 

 

Millwood Servicing Ltd

A 28 year established, award winning, family run & owned SME business focusing on Fire Safety, based in Surrey we cover all the surrounding counties around London and London its self. Millwood is registered as Disability Confident Leader from the DWP Disability Confident Committed schemes and is one of just of 300 companies in the UK to have achieved this prestigious award. Our CEO and owner - Matt Wood is the Inclusive & Disability Lead and he heads up a 60 strong team. In October 2020 Matt set up The WoodMor Foundation CIC with his wife Clare to change the way employers see people from the most marginalised sectors of society.

We asked Matt Wood (CEO) a few questions:

1. What are your recruitment processes to support applicants with SEND?

"We use our Zero2Hero Apprentice programme where we take on three Apprentices per year"

2. How does your workplace promote inclusivity?

"From the top down – starting with me"

3. Why is it important for you to have a diverse workforce?

"Because employing the character and teaching the skills works on every front in business including financially, morally, ethically and intelligently; furthermore by being inclusive and diverse it ensures we are exposed to the vast pool of untapped talent that exists. Don’t just take our word for it… ask 50% of our staff who have a disability, defence or who come from a marginalised sector."

 

VolkerFitzpatrick

VolkerFitzpatrick is one of the leading engineering and construction companies in the UK and provide specialist building, civil engineering and rail expertise to a range of markets to provide a truly integrated service to clients. We possess proven experience and deliver successful projects in a wide range of industries, including commercial, industrial, education, rail infrastructure and depots, airports, waste and energy. 

Our teams of skilled and dedicated staff work closely with our clients to understand their requirements and objectives to deliver quality projects that are innovative, sustainable and exceed expectations. Of utmost importance on all our sites and projects is the safety of our 850+ employees, our subcontractors and the communities in which we work. VolkerVessels is signed up to the Disability Confident Scheme and is at the committed level.

As part of our framework with Highways England, we are delivering the A27 East of Lewes Improvements Scheme making changes to the road between Polegate and Firle.

We asked VolkerFitzpatrick a few questions:

1. What are your recruitment processes to support applicants with SEND?

'We are open to supporting applicants in whatever way they need. We find that having a phone call with the applicant to confirm any special requirements works best.'

2. How does your workplace promote inclusivity?

'We recently won the Engineering Company of the Year award at the National Centre for Diversity, Fairness, Respect, Equality, Inclusion and Engagement awards. We have processes and procedures in place to give anyone the support they needed.'

3. Why is it important for you to have a diverse workforce?

'Our industry is not diverse enough. By changing that, we will become even better at what we do.'

 

General Dynamics UK Ltd

General Dynamics UK is one of the UK's leading defence companies, and an important supplier to the UK Ministry of Defence. We have had a presence in the South East for nearly 50 years, with two sites situated in Hastings.

At the facilities, we design, develop and manufacture some of the world's most advanced military avionic systems and tactical communications for ground vehicles. Our kit is used on aircraft such as Eurofighter Typhoon, Tornado and Wildcat helicopters.

General Dynamics UK is currently a Level 2 Disability Confident employer and is working towards becoming a Level 3 Leader.

We asked General Dynamics UK a few questions:

1. What are your recruitment processes to support applicants with SEND?

'General Dynamics UK has a Disability Confident logo featured prominently on our website. We offer an interview to all candidates meeting minimum essential skills (core criteria) for a role. We are planning a process to add a Disability Confident logo to all our job advertisements. We work closely with occupational health, health and safety team and Access to work to ensure required adjustments are implemented. For the future, we are exploring an alternative interview process for SEND candidates such as testing relevant job skills rather than questions.'

2. How does your workplace promote inclusivity?

'We have a strong Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging steering group. Our vision is to create a workplace where people bring their whole self to work. We have flexible working from day one - CIPD flex from one campaign. We celebrate differences, foster belonging and honour diverse opinions. We connect communities, including gender and LGBTQ+, with virtual events planned for pride month, such as Pride Bingo, and have links to Stonewall. We support colleagues with disability and health, well-being, work-life balance and have a number of mental health first aiders across the business. We strongly advocate and have links with Women in Defence, Women in Engineering and STEM. Men's health is also high on our agenda with topical lunch and learn sessions.'

3. Why is it important for you to have a diverse workforce?

'People matter and we should all have equal opportunity to develop progress and be recognised and rewarded at work. By recognising everyone has something of value to offer, we have a larger talent pool to draw on. By being fair and equitable, we have a lower attrition rate. By listening to our colleagues and respecting their views, we have an engaged workforce.'

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