We are inviting local employers to attend a Reverse Job Fair hosted by the people we support. 

Unlike a traditional job fair event, where jobseekers visit stalls to find out more about an employer, our Reverse Job Fair will encourage attendees to visit stalls hosted by our job skills students to find out more about what they can offer to employers. There will be stalls representing different industries such as hospitality, retail, IT, horticulture and animal care, allowing the students to talk to employers about the sector they are particularly interested in.

We hope the event, which is being held on Friday 22 July at the Angel Centre in Tonbridge, will provide an opportunity for the people we support to network with and build a connection with potential employers from those industries.

We run employment initiatives from our day opportunities centre in Pembury, Tunbridge Wells, to empower the people we support to find paid work. The My Employment Passport Scheme and the City and Guilds Skills for Working Life course aim to equip adults with learning disabilities and on the autism spectrum with a range of skills to prepare them for paid employment. The courses cover areas such as creating a CV, matching skills with potential jobs and preparing for an interview.

Katie, 27, from Tunbridge Wells, is neurodivergent and describes herself as being autistic. Katie has been in paid employment at our Bluebell Café in Pembury since completing the employment course with us two years ago. She said: “Working at the café is amazing, it gives me a chance to meet the public. I just love it. It’s changed my life to be paid every month – I can save up for things that I want and buy them. People like me should have the opportunity to have a job and get paid.”

Megan Hollamby, Employability Lead at Aspens, and organiser of the Reverse Job Fair said: “The primary purpose of this event is to get the people we support into meaningful employment. The percentage of people on the autism spectrum or with a learning disability who are in paid employment is significantly lower than the national figure for all adults in paid employment. I want to close the gap and support people to achieve their aspirations, face less discrimination and not only promote inclusivity, but really show what a fantastic asset these individuals would be to an employer.

When individuals work towards their employment aspirations through the courses I deliver they are actively involved in shaping their future, they have a sense of ownership and pride in their work, they are making regular achievements and their journey towards greater levels of independence is nourished.

I am looking for employers who want to make a difference to people in their local community by giving individuals the opportunity to thrive and be an asset to their business. If this is you or you know someone who could improve local employment for people on the autism spectrum or with learning disabilities then please do contact us to find out more.”

This event is open to all local employers, as well as anyone supported by Aspens.

If you own, manage or have connections with a local business and would like to find out more about attending please contact Megan Hollamby at [email protected]