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Worcestershire’s first-ever Inclusive Employment Conference launches

1 March 2023
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Businesses across Worcestershire are being encouraged to ‘Join IN’ and take part in the county's first-ever free Worcestershire Inclusive Employment Conference.

The conference will feature guest speakers and experts, who will offer local businesses an insight into why and how they should inclusively employ.

Attendees at the free event will also hear about the benefits of supported internships, be able to share best practice and learn the current landscape and size of the potential workforce wishing to gain meaningful employment within the county.

The event is part of INclusive Worcestershire, a partnership between Worcestershire County Council and Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), and aims to highlight, showcase, and raise awareness of the importance of inclusive employment within the county and to encourage more businesses to look at how they can do this, such as implementing supported internships.

Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said it was vital for local businesses to get involved: “Diverse and inclusive workforces help local companies – and our economy – thrive, and the Worcestershire Inclusive Employment Conference is a great way to share ‘best practice’ and explore examples of what other employers are doing to attract the skills to their business.

"Everyone deserves the opportunity to find gainful employment. Supported internships, for example are a great opportunity to improve the life chances of young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, by supporting them into sustained, paid employment.

"This will not only bring them financial independence, but also build confidence, self-esteem, health, and well-being. I urge Worcestershire’s leading businesses to #joinIN with this exciting conference, and pledge to support inclusive employment with us.”

Mark Fitton, Director of People for Worcestershire County Council added: “This is a great opportunity for Worcestershire businesses to come together and make a pledge to put inclusive employment at the heart of their workforce planning.

"As one of Worcestershire’s largest inclusive employers we are proud to lead from the front, and to be able to host events like this conference is vitally important. We are committed to engage and work closely with local businesses to understand their needs and how we can best support them to unlock their growth potential, the Worcestershire INclusive Employment Conference is a perfect example of how we can do just that.”

During the conference, there will be guest speakers from local stakeholders and businesses sharing valuable information, resources, and assistance to other employers to support their current and ongoing recruitment needs. The event will also feature a breakout ‘marketplace’, allowing businesses to speak with local advisors and ask direct questions, with the aim to help them develop an inclusive employment strategy.

The conference will take place on Thursday 30 March from 1pm to 5pm at Worcestershire County Cricket Club.

Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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