LEP secures £465k workplace funding

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The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has secured £465k of Government funding to help local businesses recruit and retain people with disabilities and long-term health conditions.

The Cornwall Work and Health Beacon Project is the first of its kind in the UK and aims to widen the pool of talent and experience available to employers, creating opportunities for local people and helping to tackle skills shortages.

LEP chairman, Mark Duddridge, said: “We want to remove barriers to employment and address workplace health so that more people with disabilities and long-term illness can enter work, return to work, and remain in work.

“We know that businesses can be nervous about hiring someone with a disability but at the same time have trouble finding the skills they need. So, we want to change behaviours and build confidence because an inclusive workforce is good for the individual, good for the economy and good for business.”

The LEP will work closely with the business community to examine how businesses make hiring decisions, and promote more inclusive employment practices through education, confidence building, innovative digital tools, and peer-to-peer support.

The project will encourage businesses to learn from one another and share experience and good practice and will have a dedicated business engagement manager to work directly with local business networks.