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28/11/18 10:58

Helping disabled people into employment

Social Security Scotland will learn from Scotland-India partnership

A Scotland-India partnership to help disabled people into sustainable jobs has been welcomed by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

The partnership sees Glasgow Kelvin College and Lemon Tree Hotels India link up to share techniques for accommodating people with additional support needs, including downs syndrome and autism, in the workforce.

Lemon Tree Hotels is renowned as a global leader in providing training and employment for people with additional support needs.

Social Security Scotland will now work with Glasgow Kelvin College to learn from Lemon Tree Hotels and its framework to inform the agency's employment policy.

Together the companies aim to increase the number of people with additional support needs in full-time, sustainable employment in both countries.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney met with employees at Lemon Tree Hotels in Delhi, and said:

"We want to ensure that everybody who can and wants to work has the opportunity to find fulfilling jobs.

"By learning from organisations like Lemon Tree Hotels who have developed a successful working model, we can better understand the challenges faced by people with additional support needs in accessing employment.

"Initiatives like this have an important part to play as we move closer to our aim of at least halving the disability employment gap."

In line with the Scottish Government's Fairer Scotland for disabled people strategy, Glasgow Kelvin College is looking to help implement their model in Scotland.

Alan Sherry, Principal of Glasgow Kelvin College, said:

"Glasgow Kelvin College is thrilled to be working closely with our Indian partners, the Skills Council for Persons with Disability and Lemon Tree Hotels. Lemon Tree Hotels has a sector leading model of work based learning for people with additional support needs which supports sustainable mainstream employment.

"The College is keen to adopt the Lemon Tree model in Scotland, in partnership with a range of employers who have expressed an interest in supporting this pioneering initiative, which will ultimately benefit their current staff, the employees themselves and society as a whole."

The initiative is funded by the UK India Education Research Initiative through Glasgow Kelvin College and the Skill Council for Persons with Disability.

David Wallace, Chief Executive Social Security Scotland said:

"I am delighted Social Security Scotland is supporting this initiative which will help people with disabilities and additional learning needs get access to mainstream employment. We are committed to delivering a service based on dignity, fairness and resect and having a workforce that reflects the spectrum of Scottish society is absolutely key to that."

Background

The partnership between Glasgow Kelvin College, The Skill Council for Persons with Disability and Lemon Tree Hotels has developed over time. The initiative is funded through Glasgow Kelvin College and the Skill Council for Persons with Disability by UKIERI (UK India Education Research Initiative).

Lemon Tree Hotels is a global leader in the provision of training and employment for people with additional support needs, including down syndrome, autism and speech and hearing impairments.

A Fairer Scotland for disabled people: working for change was published in April 2018 and sets out some of the actions the Scottish Government is taking to reduce the Employment Gap.