Fabian Demicoli

Inclusion at GRTU – Engaging the Skills of Persons with Different Abilities

GRTU is participating in ETC’s initiatives aimed at integrating persons with special needs in order to support efforts of inclusion at the work space. The initiative which GRTU is taking part in is referred to as Sheltered Employment which involves tasks being undertaken by this group of individuals at ETC premises, or even if necessary on-site, and under the supervision of a qualified job coach. A group of six individuals have been offering their services at no cost to GRTU. This can also similarly be an opportunity that other employers take up.

It is an experience that is also providing both staff and public with a direct experience of understanding the skills of each person that irrespective of one’s situation can contribute positively to the workplace. As can be witnessed through the   following picture, any mass postal mail postal mail postal mail correspondence that you as GRTU members, have received in the past weeks, was prepared by this team of individuals.                                        

Apart from back-office work, other individuals under this program have also provided services to GRTU through telephone call tasks, office work and inputting of data. This service is not only a positive corporate social responsibility exercise that provides opportunities for inclusion and employment, but it is also free of charge. We therefore encourage interested members to contact GRTU if they are interested in an undertaking such positive experiences within their own company.

You are requested to contact GRTU on or 21232881/3.

The following is an overview of ETC’s initiatives in this sector which may be of interest.

Sheltered Employment Training

Sheltered Employment Training activities have the overall objective of enabling persons with a disability to easily integrate into the labour market through the simulating of a work environment. Through these activities 25 job coaches we will be assisting 150 persons with disability acquire employment skills. The Sheltered Employment Training Facilities is temporarily set up at Mtarfa (but will later move to Msida). However if the work cannot be outsourced to be done at the facility and if the situation so allows, the Persons with Disability can carry out the employment training tasks at the employers establishments (always under the eyes of the job coaches).

During the tenure of the project no payment is made for the work carried out as the employers would be providing the employment training opportunity. Of course if during the training itself the employer identifies a person or persons that he would be interested to offer regular employment to, the persons can leave the project and the supported employment model from the Bridging the Gap stage will kick in.

Supported Employment

ETC runs a pre-employment programme called Job Bridge. It is targeted for young persons with intellectual disability between the ages of 16 to 25 and who have completed compulsory education. Trainees will participate in a structured programme that caters for the acquisition of skills in three main areas ‘Employability’, ‘Social’ and ‘Independent Living’. During this programme trainees will be provided with various job tasters and will also participate in on-the-job experiences. By the end of the programme, through the supported employment method, the trainees should be ready to actively join the labour market. 

The Supported Employment Method means that following the completion of the vocational profile stage (where what the client wishes to do and is capable of, is established) the client will be first placed on a job taster (this is usually a few hours on a particular day. No payment is involved for the employer).  If this proves to be successful we will move on to the work experience phase (a number of hours for a small number of weeks.  No payment is involved for the employer).  In this phase the client is given a longer opportunity to consolidate on his wish to work in a particular occupation.  If the employer knows that there is a vacancy in the said occupation and is pleased with the output of the client ETC can kick in the Bridging the Gap Scheme. 

During this Scheme the client will attend the place of work for a number of hours for a number of weeks and will receive remuneration from ETC – once again there will be no direct cost to the employer.  Finally there will be formal employment, usually on part-time employment basis.  Employers employing a registered disabled person are exempted from paying their national insurance contribution for three years.

For the purpose of supported employment ETC would be after a task or a number of tasks that the person can engage in rather then a full occupation.  As part of the service ETC can also assist in identifying the tasks.  Moreover during all this process the client will be assisted by a job coach to make sure that the client knows well the work he needs to carry out.  The Job Coach also supports the employer by firstly being responsible for the on-the-job training of the client and secondly to address any concerns that the colleagues of the person to be placed, may have on the person’s ability to carry out the work assigned to him.  Once the job coach is satisfied that the client can work on his own without the job coaches supervision, s/he will leave the employer’s workplace.  If however something comes up and the employer needs the services of the job coach, the employer would still have access to the job coach.

Mainstream Recruitment Services

This is the normal recruitment service we offer with the difference that if the client is a person with disability, before formal employment we can make use of the Bridging the Gap Scheme. Employers employing a registered disabled person are exempted from paying their national insurance contribution for three years.

Other Services

There a number of other similar services. These may also include rehabilitated former substance users and former prison inmates.

 

 

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