We've found hidden talent
Our story only started a number of years ago, when we began partnering with a local special school, Round Oak School, as part of our committment to Corporate Social Responsibility. The school were finding it hard to provide business opportunities for their students.
Inspired by our visit to Bath University Hospital, where students with disabilities were fulfilling roles, realising their potential and contributing to the success of the hospital; we explored the option of providing support internships to students with learning difficulties.
From there, here at National Grid we launched our 'EmployAbility - Let's Work Together' in September 2013.
Students with learning disabilites only have a 7% likelihood of finding paid employment.
The cost of community care, supporting someone who is unable to find employment throughout their life, is approx. £1 million per person.
For National Grid and Round Oak School, these statistics matter.
The EmployAbility - Let's Work Together programme has a simple, but effective model minimising the impact on both the business and the student. National Grid identifies the roles that interns can fill, while local schools partners provide Job Coaches to support the interns.
EmployAbility addresses the issues facing young people with a learning difficulty, increasing disability confidence in the work place and offering work experience within a corporate environment.
One of our interns said, "I never dreamt I could be so successful. For the first time in my life, I'm treated like everyone else in society. No one here judges me, they recognise my talents."