What Skills Shortages?
Inclusion & Belonging
Nov 14, 2019
For many complex (and not-so-complex) reasons, employers are universally concerned about current skills shortages, which look set to worsen over time. Finding the right person for a position is becoming more and more challenging. This presentation suggests that the solution to finding different talent is through looking to different sources of talent. Is there a rich seam of largely-untapped talent that we are failing to consider, let alone attract?
The obvious answer is yes - we need to look for more diverse talent. Employers are increasingly understanding that diversity - far from being a problem - is actually the solution to the problem. Diversity is now being seen as a mission-critical issue, rather than about CSR or "doing the right thing".
However, the term "diversity" is often seen to mean "race" and/or "gender", and - for the more enlightened employers - may also include LGBTQ+. Engaging with talent from these groups is a massive step forward. But there is another group, even in these enlightened times, which is still over-looked or dismissed. Disabled people.
Employing disabled people is often seen as an expensive risk, where productivity, sickness absence, health and safety and customer service will be negatively impacted. We will examine the evidence which busts these myths, and demonstrates that employing disabled people is good for business, and impacts positively on the organisation, its employees, its customers and - inevitably - its bottom line. We'll discover effective ways to fill those skills gaps that bring additional benefits.
The presenter has first hand experience in this, firstly by being a disabled person herself, secondly by running business which only employs disabled people and thirdly through supporting hundreds of employers to become more inclusive and accessible.
About Jane Hatton
"Jane has worked in diversity since 1990. She founded Evenbreak in 2011, an award-winning social enterprise run by and for disabled people. Evenbreak helps employers attract talented disabled people through a specialist online job board and is entirely staffed by disabled people. Due to a degenerative spinal condition, Jane runs the organization either lying down with her laptop above her or standing at meetings and events. In other words, she never sits on the job.
Jane is widely published in her field, including the book “A Dozen Brilliant Reasons to Employ Disabled People.” She is Patron of the Inclusive Skills Competitions and on the executive board of the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative. She was also a recruitment expert in BBC2’s “Employable Me.”