Recruit-Ability is a positive action programme that offers fixed term, paid work experience placements for people with disabilities. The aim of the programme is to offer people the experience and training they need, and hopefully improve their confidence to move on into more permanent work.
The Recruit-Ability programme started in 2006 and has been successful in improving the confidence and skills of participants. Since 2017, 64% of people who had placements with us have moved into jobs, 47% of these within Walsall Council.
This web page is designed to offer support to current participants of the programme. If you are not part of the programme and you are interested in applying for any forthcoming opportunities, please register with WM Jobs where future placements and other Walsall Council vacancies are advertised.
Access to Work
Do you need any additional equipment or support to help you to carry out your duties? This could include a piece of software to help you read documents on your PC if you have a visual impairment, an adapted chair if you suffer from pain in a standard office chair, support in undertaking your tasks from a support worker, or a combination of equipment and support.
If you feel that you need any additional equipment or support, you can apply for an Access to work assessment via the Government funded Access to Work scheme. It is advisable that you do this within your first 6 weeks of employment (you can apply for it before your placement starts, as long as you have a start date). The process is as follows:
• To apply, visit the Access to Work Website and apply online - please note that your employer cannot do this for you, you have to do it yourself.
• An Access to Work representative will contact you and usually arrange an assessment of your work space – you should let your line manager know when this is happening.
• Following the assessment, you will receive a declaration document which you will need to sign and send back to Access to Work, as well as a copy of your report and a breakdown of any equipment/support that is recommended for you and where this can be ordered from.
• The recruitment team can order this equipment for you – please contact us and we will help you.
• Once ordered, the equipment will be delivered to your work place at an agreed time and date.
When you start your placement, your manager should let you know about the Corporate Induction Programme, and the training courses you need to complete as part of this. This will include signing up for e-learning. If you are unsure about this, please speak to your manager.
As part of your placement, you will be offered the chance to attend two ‘Recruit-Ability First’ sessions. These are informal sessions which cover job search and interview techniques, and assertiveness skills. The sessions will also give you chance to meet your follow participants on the programme. More information about these sessions will be given to you by the Recruitment Team.
The Council’s Learning and Development Team offer a range of training courses for Council employees. You can view the list of courses on offer here. Remember to check with your manager before booking on any courses.
Job Search Support
It’s really important to keep a look out for and apply for any vacancies that you are interested in during your placement – don’t leave it to the last few weeks of your placement to start looking! Here are a few links and useful documents that may help you:
The Essential Job Search Guide has been specifically designed to help you through the process of identifying your strengths and skills, likes and dislikes and decide on what you want from your next job. In addition there is practical advice and guidance on how to conduct your job search, tips for getting the most out of online jobs boards, how to prepare a CV/complete job application forms and how to prepare for and be successful at interview and in assessment centres. Click the link below to view the guide:
• Essential Job Search Guide (PDF 316KB)
Most vacancies are now advertised online. If you are unsure how to use jobs boards (job sites), view our guide to using jobs boards below. Also, the list of useful jobs boards included in the guide may help you when you are searching for opportunities.
• Using Jobs Boards (PDF 1.10MB)
There is a real ‘knack’ to completing application forms – remember to read the job description, employee specification and other supporting documents for each vacancy carefully before you apply. For more guidance and tips on completing application forms, click on the guidance document below.
• Candidate Guidance – Application Forms (PDF 92.2KB)
If you have been selected for an interview for any of the positions you have applied for – well done! It’s perfectly natural to feel nervous, the key to doing well in interviews is preparation. To help yourself prepare, remember to read through the job description, employee specification and other supporting documents carefully before you attend. You can also read through our guidance for attending interviews below. The Learning and Development Team run an online ‘Get that job!’ training session, part of which offers Interview skills training. To view the courses offered by the Learning and Development Team, click here.
• Candidate Guidance – Interviews (PDF 93.8KB)
Adult Social Care Employment Services: This service supports residents of working age, with health and social care needs, in order to develop pathways which will help individuals to access employment, education and training opportunities. You do need to meet certain criteria to use this service. For more information, view the leaflet below:
• Adult Social Care Employment Services Information (PDF 168KB)
Walsall Works: Walsall Works is an award winning initiative funded by Walsall Council to support local people to find jobs, apprenticeships and access training. For more information and to register, visit the Walsall Works Website.
Citizens Advice Walsall: Citizens Advice provide free, impartial advice on the big issues affecting people’s lives. If you have any questions about your benefit entitlement for example, they should be able to help. They are located on Lichfield Street in Walsall town centre, or you can visit the Citizens Advice Walsall Website.
Frequently Asked Questions
When you start your placement, you may have a number of questions about how things work. You should have received a Recruit-Ability Placement Details pack – please read through this for more information about the Recruit-Ability programme. Below are some common questions we receive from Recruit-Ability participants. If you can’t find the answer to your question, please speak to your line manager or contact us using the details at the bottom of the page.
What is my annual leave entitlement?
Your annual leave is calculated using the hours and days you work each week. Your line manager should let you know your annual leave entitlement at the beginning of your placement and let you know what you need to do when booking annual leave. Please note: the Recruitment Team do not hold details of your annual leave and you should always speak to your line manager about this.
What do I need to do if I am unwell?
If you are unwell and cannot come into work, you need to telephone your manager as soon as possible to let them know. For information on Walsall Council’s Sickness Absence Policy, click here.
Can I apply for another job during my placement?
In short, yes! We positively encourage you to apply for any vacancies that interest you during your time with us and we will support you as much as we can with this. We understand that your placement is a ‘stepping stone’ to more permanent work.
What happens at the end of my placement?
Around a month before the end of your placement, you will receive a letter from the Recruitment Team confirming your end date. We will also meet with you to discuss your options and how you are feeling. If you haven’t managed to secure another job by this point, it can be worrying. At this stage, it’s a good idea to contact support organisations such as Walsall Works or Adult Social Care Employment Services for job search support and advice after your contract has ended. For more information see the ‘General Support’ section above.
3rd Floor, Civic Centre
Telephone: 01922 655673