There are many places that employers can look in order to find talented people. Last month I was honoured to be at the launch of six Inclusive Skills Competitions. These are organised by the National Association of Specialist Colleges, and are a great opportunity for students with learning and other disabilities from those colleges to showcase their skills.
The first competition, held at the launch at Derwen College in Shropshire, was called “Display Your Wares” and was a competition in visual merchandising. The competition was very stiff, with all teams displaying their goods in very creative and unique ways.
The winners, Emily and Robyn, are pictured here, with Kirsty Hoadley, from Selfridges, who was one of the judges.
The six competitions that will be held this year are:
- Display Your Wares (visual merchandising)
- Housekeeping for Hens (animal husbandry)
- Introduction to a Gym (sports sciences)
- Gift of the Gab (presentation skills)
- The Band (musical performance)
- Cloud 9 Film Festival (film production)
I am very privileged to be the Patron of these skills competitions, and was able to speak at the launch about the benefits of employing talented young disabled people like these students, and why employers would be lucky to have them.
Just watching the hard work, concentration, dedication and pride that these young people took in putting their plans into practice was humbling, and all teams deserved their trophies and certificates.
This is the first year of the competitions and they are already proving to be a success. My hope is that we will build on this next year with more competitions, and more employers becoming involved – whether through sponsorship, judging or just coming along to spy out the talent of tomorrow.
For more information, see here.
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