On 6 November 2013 in London, the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI), a voluntary initiative set up 2 years ago to improve recruitment practices for disabled job-seekers, has announced an awards programme backed by Mike Penning MP, Minister for Disabled People. The awards are being launched under the theme, "actions speak louder than words."
The 2014 programme includes 14 categories as well as an overall "Disability Confident" award, which aims to recognise progress made by in-house recruiters or agencies since the Department for Work & Pension's high profile conference on 18th July.
Speaking at the DWP conference in July, Prime Minister David Cameron said: "This isn't just about doing what is right for disabled people. Employing disabled people makes business sense too. We need to break the myth about the complexities of employing disabled people, or to put it more simply - to give employers confidence."
The "Disability Confident" award recognises organisations that can demonstrate their support of the government's national Disability Confident campaign and that they have worked to dispel myths and increase disability confidence in their own organisation.
Commenting on the recent developments, Minister for Disabled People said:
"Recent research shows that more disabled jobseekers cite employers' attitudes as a greater barrier to work than transport, which is why I'm delighted that we've launched a campaign to support employers to become more confident about hiring disabled people.
"Although the employment rates for disabled people have increased gradually over the years, we know that all too often the talents of disabled people in the workforce are left untapped. The new Disability Confident Award will recognise those employers and recruiters who are stepping up and recognising what disabled people have to offer in the workplace."
Gold sponsors of the RIDI Awards are E.ON, Eversheds & The Clear Company. Silver sponsors are CEB SHL Talent Measurement and bronze sponsors are Equal Approach.
Sue LaVerne, Senior Vice President, International Markets, E.ON said:
"I am delighted to be on the judging panel of the first ever Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative awards.
"The starting point for levelling out the playing field for disabled people is to recognise that disability is all around us and impacts on us all in some way.
"The recruitment industry has a unique opportunity to innovate and provide a fairer, more accessible service to all candidates. These awards celebrate that innovation."
John Heaps, Chairman, Eversheds said:
"Eversheds is proud to be hosting the first ever Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative Awards as we believe that it's time to celebrate the steps that have been taken over the last two years to remove barriers for disabled people wanting to work or progress their careers.
"As a firm we value the contribution of all employees and prospective employees and we are committed to facilitating the employment of people with disabilities.
"Recruitment and employment best practice is constantly evolving and the exchange of ideas and the celebration of best practice is the cornerstone of the RIDI initiative and awards."
Kate Headley, Development Director, The Clear Company & Chair of the Judging Panel said:
"As Chair of the Judging Panel for the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative Awards, I am delighted to see the breadth and depth of the award categories. Getting it right for disabled job-seekers means that our industry has to address and overcome a wide-range of attitudinal and technical barriers.
"Recruitment needs to become a streamlined and inclusive process, where the specific requirements of the candidate, disability-related or otherwise, are embedded seamlessly from attraction, application and assessment through to appointment and on-boarding.
"Our research shows that while the candidate's experience is at the heart of a successful recruitment campaign, the recruitment and hiring team also need information, guidance and advice on how to support disabled candidates. The RIDI Awards take us through the entire recruitment journey and I am confident that the destination is fairer and more inclusive recruitment."
The RIDI Awards are free to enter and attend; submissions for the 14 categories open on 6 November 2013 and close on 28 February 2014 and should be uploaded directly onto the awards website: www.ridiawards.com/entry. Entries are welcome from recruitment agencies or in-house recruitment teams in the private, public or third sectors.
For more information please contact: Catherine Grinyer on 07713248387 or [email protected]
VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email [email protected] for more information.
We are also officially recommended by Disability Confident as a step on achieving Employer status, please click here for more information.