Inclusive Employment Scheme
The QUB “Inclusive Employment Scheme” was launched by the then Minister for Employment and Learning Dr Stephen Farry on 29 May 2014.
The scheme is run in conjunction with NIUSE NI Union of Supported Employment. The University has hosted a number of individuals with a disability or long-term condition in various schools and directorates throughout Queen’s. The roles on offer have ranged from Technical, Clerical, Research and Operational positions such as Portering, Cleaning and Catering. Placements are part-time, unpaid and can last anywhere between 3 and 12 months. To date we have hosted just under 60 placements.
It is a great opportunity for those who have been unable to get work, or have had to leave work due to a disability, to develop skills and gain valuable work experience.
QUB Employment Inclusive Employment Scheme participants, support workers and Queen’s staff at an induction event at the University in March 2020
“…. a great example of partnership working between a government body, the local disability sector and a major employer, who in this instance, just happen to be one of our most prestigious education establishments … the staff at Queen’s, through the HR team and the respective schools throughout the University, have provided the opportunities and in-work support that will really enhance the employment prospects of many disabled people – and for that, we are all very grateful.” Terry Park
Head of Disability Employment Services, DfC
Queen’s staff have worked closely alongside organisations such as Disability Action, The Cedar Foundation, Ulster supported Employment Limited (USEL), Action Mental Health, Orchardville, The NOW group, Mencap and Stepping Stones who provide invaluable help and support throughout the process.
QUB Electronics Technician and Inclusive Employment Scheme Paul Coulter with his two IES participants Patrick Hackett and Warren Morrison
Feedback from University staff, support workers and participants in the scheme has been very positive.
“I will be disappointed when it ends but I am much more confident in my abilities now and less scared of the world of work." Carole Catling
Placement in QUB Research and Enterprise Directorate
“I found the placement gave me a chance to meet new people, deliver new skills and be creative by allowing me to bring my own ideas to the role." Benjamin Kinnear
Placement in QUB Telecommunications (Switchboard Office)
“I have loved being in three different areas meeting lotos of staff within Queen’s. Thank you for letting me be part of the work placement experience." Grace Hamilton
Placement in three different Human Resources functions
Taking part in the scheme enables participants to gain the experience and confidence they need to then go and gain paid employment. A small number of participants have secured employment with Queen’s after their placement ended by successfully applying and being appointed through externally advertised recruitment exercises. In some cases, the scheme has facilitated the work experience aspect of participants completing various college courses.
2019 Inclusive Employment Scheme participant Peter McCullough with his Supervisor Lesley Whyte (School of HAPP) and Leeann Matchett from the Diversity and Inclusion Unit.
“My colleagues have been welcoming and friendly from the outset. I feel appreciated and valued. I am awarded many opportunities to develop and learn new skills. In addition to learning new skills, my confidence is improving and I feel ready to return to employment.” Peter McCullough
Participant in the 2019 scheme supported by Action Mental Health
“[Peter] has been extremely adaptable, and eager to keep busy when he is with us… and we try to ensure that we give Peter a variety of tasks, including those which will help him advance his skill set in order to build on his experience and enhance his future employability. Peter has proved to be a great team member and his positive attitude is going to make him a great asset to any employer." Lesley Whyte
QUB Clerical Officer, School of HAPP
For further insight into the Inclusive Employment Scheme, please click on the testimonies provided by previous scheme participants Jamie Davison and Suzie Leech, as well as the staff news article about Peter McCullough.