A free occupational training programme to help disable people new find careers has launched in Salford.

The programme run by YMCA Training helps disabled people who struggle to find work develop their existing skills as well as new ones, so they’re ready for employment.

This first 10 week course offers people over 18 with a disability a chance to learn horticultural skills.

Photo Credits- Laura Burns

Rob Ironmonger, one of the programme’s tutors, outlined the course’s curriculum: “That could be anything from pruning techniques to planting hanging baskets to fertilizing, caring for planted areas, growing vegetables and leaf blowers, grass trimmer’s and mowers. So, it depends on the disability which depends on what course we can do for them.

“There could be much more training opportunities for people in the Salford area, not just in horticulture it could be in childcare, cooking, cleaning. It’s trying to get people together to design these courses to help get people back into some kind of employment.

“We had one gentleman who before this wouldn’t leave the house. Literally from coming on this [programme] he’s now looking at getting back into work.”

The development of these skills aim to help people with careers in working in garden centers, parks and councils etc.

Photo Credits- Laura Burns

Beth Thomas, who suffers with cerebral palsy, spoke about the issues facing those with disabilities when applying for jobs

“When applying for the job the process it was pretty much the same, but obviously for wheelchair purposes I had to go through a right to work check and a fit to work check, which is very tedious and boring.”

“I’m pretty able to do most things, depending on what you ask me to do but it depends on the day and whether I am fit to do it, as with my condition each day changes, no day is ever the same.”

She encourages more programmes to be available in Salford to support people like herself.

A study released by The Office for National Statistics has confirmed that in 2018, employers across the UK pay their disabled staff 12.2% less than those
without disabilities.



Miss Thomas responded: “I don’t believe in that because we are all the same, it doesn’t matter what your race, your disability or your sexuality is… why are you paid less in the first place? We get the same task done, but sometimes it’s just a bit slower.”

Photo credits- Laura Burns

YMCA Training also offers training courses for 16-19 year olds in; Business Admin, Childcare, Customer Service, Fitness, Health and Social Care and Public Services.

Photo credits: Laura Burns

The course begins on 31st January, and will run every Friday from 9:30am to 3:30pm for ten weeks

To apply you must be over 18 and have a disability: https://www.ymca.co.uk/campaign/hortability


Image Credit: Laura Burns

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