Today’s token password is on
A YOUNG woman who has advised Manchester council on how it can help to get more disabled people into work has started her own career in the highways business.
Nicola Jacques, who has cerebral palsy, is working for road and footway treatment firm Kiely Brothers at their office on Crabtree Lane, Clayton, after the completion of a series of work placements with the council.
Nicola, from Newton Heath, said: “I’m so excited to be working at Kiely Bros. They are friendly, so I get on with them. I’m excited about the work that I’m doing.”
As part of their bid to become a contractor for surface treatment work in Manchester, Kiely Bros were asked by the council to demonstrate how they could help to deliver ‘social value’ for the city.
The company put forward a plan to show how they could provide employment opportunities for people who were out of work, whether able-bodied, or disabled.
After an interview to discuss a potential administrative role, the firm were keen to employ Nicola and to make adjustments to help her to succeed at work, including offering flexible working hours and a salary in excess of the Manchester Living Wage.
Nicola said: “Disabled people can do jobs. We can do the work, we just need the opportunity.”
While undertaking her work placements at Manchester council, Nicola was asked to advise on how the town hall could better communicate job opportunities and the work and skills support which are available to disabled people in the city, to encourage more disabled people to apply for apprenticeships and other opportunities.
Nicola presented her recommendations to the council, which has since implemented some of her ideas, including organising a disabled people’s jobs fair.
Nicola added: “It did help with my confidence and my communication skills by talking with my team and getting to know them and having a laugh.”
One of Nicola’s work placements was completed as part of the ‘My Future’ initiative, developed in partnership with The Manchester College and the council to offer young Manchester residents, aged 16 to 24, not in education, training or employment the opportunity to carry out a paid work placement.
Manchester council’s executive member for human resources, Coun Carl Ollerhead, said: “Nicola’s skills, enthusiasm and personal experiences made her the perfect person to review our systems and see where the council could improve its offer to future disabled employees.”