At cSeeker we always enjoy being out and meeting as many different people as possible.
We were particularly pleased to play a keyrole in organising the Employable Deaf and Disability Jobs Fair, held in the elegant Banqueting Suite of Birmingham’s Council House in the city’s Victoria Square, this month.
The idea was to put job seekers who may be Deaf or have another form of disability in touch with employers keen to hire from this group of job hunters.
We know from our own research that employment is a major issues for many Deaf people. Meanwhile, Action on Hearing Loss says three out of four people with a hearing loss feel their employment opportunities are more limited than those of their hearing peers, with almost 80% naming employers as the main barrier.
We were very much involved in organising the fair, together with Birmingham City Council, the Department for Work and Pensions, APM, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, specialist Deaf employment service BID Services, and the Disability Resource Centre.
Before the fair itself, employers heard a series of talks including a welcome from Cllr Tristan Chatfield, and an address by Adam Breeze from BID, and learnt about Disability Confident, the scheme helping employers make the most of the opportunities provided by employing disabled people. There was also a breakfast and networking time before the fair itself began at 11am – wrapping up by early afternoon.
Two rooms were packed with dozens of jobseekers who visited stalls to chat to a huge range of employers including Ocado, Platinum People, Queen Alexandra College, HS2, CPD Online, Accenture, Avon, the Arts Council of England, Body Shop Self-Employment, the Black Country Partnership Foundation Trust and the GI Group.
cSeeker CEO Alex Orlov said: “It was a great team effort, and we were pleased to speak to so many jobhunters and employers, and to give out some cSeeker merchandise including notebooks and other stationery.
“We also took the chance to advertise our own volunteering opportunities, and took down a number of email addresses from interested visitors to our stall who wanted to learn more about these, and more about cSeeker’s services.
“Deaf people often remain marginalised in the workplace, so events like this really help. We hope there will be more such job fairs in the future.”