From education to employment

Central London SMEs to Benefit from Two Year Programme to Raise Awareness of Condition

In what promises to be an unpleasant week for suffers of dyslexia with a Channel 4 documentary claiming that the condition does not exist and is in fact an emotional construct to placate people with poor reading skills, sufferers in Central London can take a little comfort from the fact that the European Social Fund (ESF) is contributing £500,000 to a project designed to help raise awareness of the condition in the workplace.

The ESF has granted the funding, which is co-financed through the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) London Central, to the Dyslexia Employment Project which is being led by the LLU+, formerly the London Language and Literacy Unit, at London South Bank University.

The LLU+ is a national consultancy and professional development centre working in the areas of literacy, numeracy, dyslexia, family learning and English for Speakers of Other Languages. The programme, which is due to run for two years, seeks to tackle the barriers that dyslexic employees can encounter as a result of their condition and highlight the creative and practical skills that they can contribute.

Maximum Opportunity

Susan Tresman, Chief Executive of the British Dyslexia Association (BDA), last week offered her wholehearted support to the project: “(The) BDA campaigns on employability and warmly welcomes this important initiative. The British Dyslexia Association supports many adult dyslexics as they engage with employers and with many young adults seeking employment for the first time. The outcomes of this project will be valuable and highly relevant to this process and our quest to secure maximum opportunity for all those with dyslexia.”

The project will aim to offer assistance, advice and training to around 750 adults in relation to dyslexia in the care, food handling, leisure and hospitality industries. Those who take part in the project will be offered free dyslexia screening, individually tailored feedback, ongoing additional assessments if and when they are appropriate, advice and guidance on training and support for workplace mentors. The project will provide awareness raising and support for over 350 employers with an emphasis upon the benefits of a dyslexia friendly work environment.

The project is specifically aimed at helping workers in seven central London boroughs: Camden Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Southwark, Wandsworth and Westminster. Businesses eligible to participate in the programme must have fewer than 250 employees, a turnover of less than £34 million and must be less than 25% controlled by a non SME.

Michael Lloyd

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