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RIO Apprentice campaigns for disability awareness in the workplace

By 21st May 2014 No Comments

Talent Match Apprentice Tommy Gundry working for Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) has been campaigning for fair representation of disabled employees in the workplace. He has linked with Fixers, a project that works with young people to support them in leading better futures.

His story has been broadcast on ITV, and has since been picked up by BBC Spotlight, Heart FM and BBC Radio Cornwall. You can watch the full interview with Tommy on ITV here. You can also read about it in the Western Morning News. Since Tommy’s plight to raise awareness about disabled representation in the workplace, he has joined the team at RIO as one of six talented and driven apprentices, supporting The Big Lottery’s Talent Match programme.

Tommy speaks about his project. “I hope that my Fixers project helps to educate employers and break down the barriers they can sometimes put up which are simply not there. Disabled people are more likely to stay in a job longer and the average cost of adaptations is only £75. I am thankful to RIO for employing me for my abilities rather than looking at my disability and for helping with my project. It’s really good to see an employer being so positive about disabilities!”

Talent Match is an employment programme which RIO is leading for Cornwall, with partner organisations Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change, Cornwall Youth Work Partnership, the Seafood Restaurant, Cornwall Council, United Response, Cornwall Voluntary Sector Forum and Carefree Cornwall.

Kate Reed, Lead Developer at Real Ideas Organisation and Talent Match Lead Partner says, “Tommy’s drive, personality and ambition to support young people who have barriers to gaining employment is absolutely what the Talent Match programme for Cornwall is all about and he makes a fantastic advocate on behalf of a key partnership piece of work for Cornwall. We’re very proud of his achievements so far and look forward to seeing what he and the other five apprentices Kelly Ronaldson, Jamie Gamble, Dean Bellows, Tom Russon and Jack Harrison can achieve working for the Talent Match programme.”

The Talent Match programme funded by BIG Lottery aims to support long-term unemployed young people aged 18-24 to gain employment in Cornwall. It is led by this cross-sector partnership, with a focus on employers, to ensure that it meets the needs of young people and are given the opportunities to get the skills to find employment. You can read more about Talent Match in our press release from the official launch.

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