Now in its sixth year, the ERSA Employability Awards celebrate best practice across the employment support sector and seeks to demonstrate the day-to-day hard work and dedication of those working to improve the lives of job seekers, communities and the wider workforce.

The ten award categories highlight the breadth of work supporting people into employment, from advisers working with jobseekers to build their confidence to organisations pioneering innovative ways of supporting people onto the right career path, and employers going that extra mile to adapt their practices to support those with greater needs.

The Disability and Health Employment category, sponsored by ICONI Software and supported by Able Magazine, recognises employment service providers who have demonstrated exceptional commitment in supporting jobseekers with disabilities and health conditions to overcome barriers to work and achieve sustained employment. Find out more about the shortlisted finalists below:


Each year, Pluss supports thousands of people with disabilities to achieve their true employment potential. As a social enterprise, its vision is simple – that people of all abilities are inspired to achieve a career. It achieves this through a range of personalised employment programmes and social enterprises.

Plus is the UK’s largest Social Firm which means that half of its 250 employees have a disability. In the next five, Pluss will help over 75,000 people move towards and into employment. It recently won the Work and Health Programme contract in Southern England and sub-contracts in London, Manchester and North-West England. It also delivers a range of innovative employability programmes across South and North England.

Project SEARCH Barnstaple

Project SEARCH Barnstaple – a partnership between Northern Devon Healthcare trust, Petroc College and Pluss – has been delivering outstanding employment outcomes for young people with a learning disability or autism for 5 years.

The project works closely with young people and their families to change expectations and enable independence through work. Since its beginning, it has achieved an average of 84 percent for employment outcomes, against a 7% national average. In its second year, it won an award for best employment outcomes for Project SEARCH UK and has inspired a number of similar projects in the local area.

Kennedy Scott

Kennedy Scott is a leading national provider of employment services for job seekers with disabilities and health conditions. It understands that each individual faces different challenges and requires a tailored approach to gain, sustain and progress in work.

In the last 12 months, Kennedy Scott has supported 2,058 jobseekers with a wide range of disabilities and health conditions through its highly innovative Circle of Support© (CoS) model. In addition, it has helped over 250 people with disabilities and health conditions to sustain employment for 26 weeks or more.

Kennedy Scott has consistently advocated the importance and benefits of hiring people who have a disability, challenging and helping to overcome employers’ preconceptions. The organisation itself has a diverse and inclusive workforce, with over 18% of its employees identifying as having a disability.

Magna Vitae (nominated by Alabare)

A CV is a summary of your working life, but, what if you don’t have one?

What if you’ve never worked? What if you’re rough sleeping? What if your battle with addiction took years to overcome? What if you spent time in an institution? How then do you construct a CV? How then do you convince employers to give you the opportunity to prove yourself?

That is where the Magna Vitae (MV) comes in. The MV is an honest depiction of a real human being. It offers job seekers the chance to explain to an employer the commitment, tenacity, and strength of character it took to overcome their situation or obstacles and demonstrates they want to improve themselves.

CamdenAbility (nominated by Cross River Partnership)

Launched in 2016, CamdenAbility brings together a network of employers in Camden committed to employing local residents with disabilities.

Employers receive tailored training or consultancy packages to create conditions for people with disabilities to achieve their full potential. Jobseekers with disabilities and health conditions also receive personalised support, including coaching, job-focused and practical employment support, upskilling activities and matching to jobs with participating employers.

The project was created in response to local need. Camden had a higher proportion of people claiming health-related benefits than the London average, and only 5.8% of residents with learning disabilities were in work. Delivered by Cross River Partnership and Business Disability Forum and funded by Camden Council, the project aims to increase the number of Camden residents with disabilities in full-time employment and significantly improve disability confidence within businesses in Camden.

Genius Within CIC

Genius Within CIC is passionate about developing talent and achieving success with hidden disability, including ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Tourette’s Syndrome, mental health and conditions causing pain and fatigue such as MS. It seeks to transform services for its clients through innovative design, research, and campaigning alongside direct client work which sees 50% of all individuals supported finding sustainable employment based on their unique strengths.

Through robust evaluation and benchmarking, 90 percent of Genius Within CIC’s successful jobseekers are still with the same employer after one year, with 24 percent promoted within this timescale. The organisation supports over 700 unemployed individuals and 2,000 employed (but at risk) clients per annum. 100 per cent of job outcomes are individuals with a disability or health condition.

The Job Club (nominated by Manchester Deaf Centre)

ERSA awards 2018!

Job Club has been nominated for an ERSA Employability award!! The award ceremony is on 14th June 2018 in London. We've been nominated in the Disability & Health Employment category! Wish us luck!!!!

Posted by Manchester Deaf Centre on Saturday, 12 May 2018


Deaf people experience extreme complexities and barriers to employment. They are considered one of the most marginalised groups who are thought to be the furthest away from the labour market.

Manchester Deaf Centre provides a Specialist Employment Service that is designed around the bespoke needs of deaf and hard of hearing people. Its job club employs skilled Specialist Employment Advisors who are deaf themselves to provide first-hand knowledge and experience in overcoming the barriers that deaf people face when gaining employment. All activities address the communication, attitudes, knowledge, health and social barriers which currently prevent service users from being able to compete and succeed and are carried out in the service users preferred method of communication.

About ERSA Employability Awards 

The awards, sponsored by Clarion Futures, aim to celebrate and champion best practice from across the employment-related services sector, highlighting the day-to-day hard work and dedication of individuals and organisations in the sector working together to help job seekers in their journey towards, into and progress in work.

The finalists were announced at the ERSA AGM on 19th April and awards will be presented to the winners at an evening ceremony in London on June 14th, 2018. Each shortlisted finalist will receive two complimentary tickets to attend the awards and additional tickets will go on sale on 24 April.

Find out more here: