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Essex County Council recognise that employment is an important part of life for all people for many reasons, including economic benefits, social status, relationships and health and wellbeing. Having a job can facilitate independent living, give greater opportunity to engage in society and is often a key part of an individual’s identity.

Meaningful employment can increase an individual’s self-esteem and sense of belonging, however for people with disabilities gaining and sustaining employment can often be far more difficult than those without disabilities.

Employment is a key focus area of the Meaningful Lives Matter (MLM) Programme, ECC’s four-year transformation programme for people with a learning disability and/or autism. Our local strategic ambition is to increase the number of adults with disabilities in meaningful, and sustainable, paid employment.

We will achieve this by:

  • Working with partners to Increase the number of people with disabilities into meaningful paid employment
  • People, families and practitioners taking a strengths-based approach to employment as the default for those with care needs who have the potential to work
  • Effective support mechanisms are established to ensure employment retention and progression
  • Early approach to support: readiness/preparation starts in education
  • Shift in people accessing buildings-based day services to paid employment

Employment services are non-statutory but aim to improve outcomes and wellbeing for people. We believe that employment is a key enabler to supporting wellbeing and independence and can help people become less reliant on statutory health and social care services.

In Essex we are fortunate to have a number of initiatives and provisions to support people to gain meaningful employment. Services are aimed to help, support and offer advice for adults with disabilities to build confidence and improve their skills and to find and sustain paid employment.

Essex Cares Limited (ECL)

A transformational contract between ECC and ECL. Seeking to deliver supported employment support to adults with disabilities who are aged 18+.

ECL will accept referrals from:

  • Social Workers (transitions and adults)
  • Self-referrals
  • Voluntary and Community sector organisations
  • Health
  • Colleges

ECL will work with Adults with learning disabilities and/or autism with ambitions of gaining voluntary or paid work. ECL will enhance all opportunities available to adults by:

  • Identifying possible employers
  • Developing CV’s
  • Arranging and mediating interviews
  • Skills development
  • Work experience
  • Induction support and on the job coaching

Contact information:

Telephone: 0333 0135438

Email: ECL.ContactCentre@essexcares.org

Website: www.ecl.org

Learning Disability and Autism Business Grant Funding Scheme

Essex County Council run a scheme named the Learning Disability and Autism Business Grant Funding scheme.

This is an opportunity for new and existing businesses to apply for funding to create paid employment opportunities for people with a Learning Disabilities and/or Autism.

The scheme is aimed to stimulate growth in innovative sectors of the market.

In 2021 Adult Social Care funded five supportive businesses in Essex.

A second round of funding is planned for Summer 2022. For further information please email BusinessGrants@essex.gov.uk 

Targeted Employment Team

The Targeted Employment Team support people aged 16 – 24 and local stakeholders to champion employment aspirations and build pathways to employment. The targeted employment team bridge the gap between education and employment.

There are 4 key areas that the targeted employment team prioritise:

  1. Social enterprises
  2. Supported internships
  3. Traineeships
  4. Inclusive apprenticeships

For further information:

Email: targetedemployment@essex.gov.uk


ACL- Adult Community Learning

ACL offer a wide range of courses across Essex to support people to learn new skills, increase knowledge and become job ready.

Some courses are particularly tailored for people with a learning disability:

  1. Supported learning
  2. Vocational courses
  3. Employability courses
  4. Supported employment programme

For further information:

Telephone: 0345 6037635

Email: lifelong.learning@essex.gov.uk

Website: www.aclessex.com


Last updated: 22/02/2022