What works for employers: Bridging the gap between academia, policy and practice

13 July 2016

Once again, the IntoWork Convention provided the platform for some thought-provoking debate and we’d like to thank the Learning & Work Institute for the opportunity to get involved.  

Serco and Leeds University Business School teamed up to deliver a session on what works for employers. Dr Jo Ingold shared insights from ongoing research with over 1,500 employers of various sizes and sectors across the UK and Denmark, focused on employer involvement in apprenticeships and employers’ views on and experiences of employing disabled people. This included employers’ perspectives on what had worked well and the challenges still to be addressed. Jo presented some example ‘good practice’ employer case studies, including changes to recruitment processes and strategies for managing mental health issues. Jo concluded with recommendations for policy and delivery, such as promoting awareness amongst employers about different forms of disabilities, providing guidance and clarity about legislation and, more broadly, better alignment of health, employability and workplace support for disabled people.

Paul Hughes and Chris Harrison then talked about Serco’s perspective as a large employer and employment and skills provider. They described how such findings are used to support people to improve their life chances and shared examples of initiatives promoting economic advancement across local communities. Employment and skills opportunities like the Apprenticeship Levy were also discussed. Participants raised some interesting points about disclosure of disability during the recruitment process and making reasonable adjustments in the workplace, the role of Jobcentre Plus and the critical importance of relationship management to employer engagement.

InterWork2016 LogoDr Jo Ingold is a Lecturer in Human Resource Management and Public Policy at The University of Leeds

Chris Harrison is Business Development Director ESE, Serco

Paul Hughes is Head of Performance ESE, Serco

This blog is part of a series of blogs produced at IntoWork Convention 2016