Publish date: 21 August 2023

New career opportunities are being unlocked for people with additional educational needs in Tameside thanks to a partnership between the local NHS and council.

Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS FT (TGICFT) and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council (TMBC) have joined forces as part of the Pathways to Employment scheme.

Those eligible for the pathway receive dedicated help and coaching from the Council’s Supported Employment team, Routes to Work, who then match opportunities in the local area to peoples’ skillset.

The scheme challenges traditional recruitment processes and provides reasonable adjustments, ensuring those with disabilities are not at a disadvantage and are actively encouraged to apply for roles they may not have otherwise done.

And thanks to close working between the two organisations people such as Daniel Penkett, 32, have found employment at Tameside Hospital.

Daniel joined TGICFT as a Catering Assistant earlier this year, playing his part in a huge operation which delivers hundreds of meals to patients each day.

His versatility has seen him cover a wide range of roles in his position, from food service to working with large machinery.

After initially joining on a temporary contract, Daniel’s work ethic and punctuality led to the offer of a permanent position in the team.

Jamie Beaumont, Catering Manager at TGICFT, said: “We could not be happier with how Daniel has settled in and it was an easy decision when it came to offering him a permanent position.

“Giving Daniel one-to-one assistance with things like his mandatory training has allowed him to focus on his job, which he has excelled in. He is incredibly reliable, always happy to learn new jobs and has become a valued part of the catering department.

 “The recruitment process was different to the traditional methods but has been a massive success and one we will continue to look at going forward.”

Daniel is one of five employees who now hold permanent positions after coming through the partnership.

Councillor David Sweeton, Tameside Council Executive Member for Inclusive Growth, Business and Employment, said: “It’s brilliant to see residents like Daniel who have been supported by the Routes to Work team, developing confidence and finding the right job for them.

“Working with our partners and local businesses to achieve successes like this demonstrates how making small changes to recruitment methods and providing the right opportunities and experiences can really support individuals to overcome barriers to become a real asset to any employer.”

Amanda Bromley, Director of People and Organisational Development at TGICFT, said: “We pride ourselves on being an inclusive employer and this is just one of the many ways we are supporting colleagues with additional needs.

“Inclusion and equality of opportunity is central to everything we do, and allows us to build a workforce that is truly representative of the local community that we serve.”