The CIoS LEP Beacon Project, backed by £500,000 investment from the DWP was launched at the Growth Fest last September by local MP Sarah Newton and is now gathering momentum.
The Evident Agency is developing a scalable digital product that will deliver advice and ongoing support for businesses, working with the Growth Hub and other partners to provide a single point of contact for employers developing an inclusive workplace.
Speaking at the National Employability Day on Friday, hosted by PLUSS and Cafe Chaos in Truro, Sarah commented on progress: “We would love as many businesses as possible to get involved with the user testing for the digital solution and you can register your interest at www.cornwallbeacon.co.uk
We know businesses are struggling to recruit and through this project we want to make it easier for businesses to find the right person as well as supporting their existing employees who may have a disability or long term health condition.”
In developing the digital solution Evident Agency have engaged with a number of local businesses through surveys and 1:1 interviews to explore how businesses respond to mental health and disability in the workplace. Also, to better understand how businesses manage recruitment and sickness absence.
- 90% of people interviewed said they would use an online search when looking for information.
- 30% of businesses do not have a recruitment practice in place.
One business commented
“We learn a lot from local business networking events. Quite often if we here about something that’s worked for them we are more likely to try and implement the same thing in our own business”
A common theme throughout the research and work to date is that there is too much information available and other sites of a similar nature try to adopt a one size fits all approach, when in fact the needs and requirements of different businesses and individuals are complex and different.
Businesses would welcome a platform to be developed where they can easily get the support they need.
The proposed digital solutions in development will demonstrate a clear business benefit for frequently engaging with the Beacon Project.
There is a lot of interest with national stakeholders – MIND, CIPD, HSE, British Chambers of Commerce, FSB together with other government departments.
Commenting further Sarah said, “We have an opportunity to make a positive difference in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly and we would love more businesses to get involved. There is some great work going on and we want to develop a range of case studies and share ideas through a peer to peer network.”