The winners of the 2018 ERSA Employability Awards were announced last night (14 June) at a special evening ceremony in London attended by the Minister for Employment, Alok Sharma MP, and hosted by ITV’s Lucrezia Millarini.

Able Magazine were proud to be media partner with the awards for the first time and also co-sponsored the Disability and Health Employment Award which recognises an employment support provider who has demonstrated exceptional commitment in supporting disabled jobseekers to achieve sustained employment.

The ERSA Employability Awards celebrate best practice across the employment support sector and seek to demonstrate the day-to-day hard work and dedication of those working to improve the lives of jobseekers, communities and the wider workforce.

The winner of the ERSA 2018, Disability and Health Employment Award category was Genius Within CIC, who specialise in developing talent and achieving success with hidden disability including ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, Tourette’s syndrome, mental ill health and conditions causing pain and fatigue, such as MS. Their work seeks to transform services for 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.

Standards have been raised through robust evaluation and benchmarking, and has led to 90% of all successful jobseekers still being with the same employer after a year and 24% promoted within that timescale. Their nationwide coverage supports over 700 unemployed individuals and 2,000 employed (but at risk) clients every year. (100% of job outcomes are individuals with a disability or health condition.)  They continue to campaign to improve standards and outcomes with the British Psychological Society as well as raising awareness and removing barriers through high profile TV documentaries.

Among other winners was Tom Sewell from Devon, who was nominated by the Down’s syndrome Association for the Significant Achievement Award, after efforts during his six-week work trial landed him a paid job as a lab assistant.

Editor of Able Magazine, who attended the awards said: “It was humbling to be in the same room as these outstanding organisations and individuals. There were so many examples of determination, innovation and sheer courage on show tonight – and so much energy in the room. It was amazing!”

ERSA’s Chief Executive, Kirsty McHugh, said:

‘Once again, the ERSA Employability Awards attracted a huge number of high-quality entries from diverse and innovative organisations across the UK. I didn’t envy our judges who had the difficult task of selecting winners from an extremely strong field of finalists which really showcase the superb work taking place in our sector.

‘Thanks to all the finalists who attended the awards, along with the Minister for Employment, Alok Sharma, enjoying an evening of celebration for organisations, employers and individuals that are making a difference to transforming people’s lives.’

The full list of finalists for the Disability and Health Employment Category is as follows:

Project SEARCH Barnstaple (nominated by Petroc)
Enterprise Mentoring (nominated by Kennedy Scott)
Magna Vitae (nominated by Alabare)
CamdenAbility (nominated by Cross River Partnership)
Genius Within CIC
The Job Club (nominated by Manchester Deaf Centre)

More information about the ERSA Employability Awards 2018 can be found on the ERSA website: