Step2Skills and Hertfordshire County Council are to host an “inclusive jobs fair” – designed to match job seekers who have learning difficulties and disabilities with inclusive employers.

According to Step2Skills head of service Chantal Lommel, people with learning difficulties or disabilities are 29 per cent less likely to be employed.

Yet 80 per cent of those with learning difficulties or disabilities that are unemployed or economically inactive would like to find work.

Chantal hopes the county’s latest ‘inclusive jobs fair – to be held in St Albans on Tuesday, May 21 – will match prospective employees to Hertfordshire employers.

“A lot of employers have got vacancies that they can’t fill,” she said.

“We have a lot of people that want to work – and have a lot of skills – that could be offered to employers.

“Our role is to try and bring these two sides in Hertfordshire together – to bring them together so they can see the potential employers that there are.”

For would-be employees the event will be a chance to meet with those employers who may be willing to adjust their recruitment practices and to see the opportunities that there may be.

For employers it’s an opportunity to see potential candidates that they may not have considered.

More than 20 employers from across the county have signed up to take part.

Highlighting the benefits to employers, Ms Lommel says that having a diverse workforce can make that workforce much stronger – stressing that people with different learning difficulties and disabilities can bring different experiences and skills.

She says that is some cases residents can be more likely to buy products or services from a company that they know has a more diverse workforce.

The jobs fair – which will be attended by 23 employers – is open to any Hertfordshire resident.

But it is targeted at people with learning difficulties and disabilities, as well as their carers and family members.

It builds on the success of a similar inclusive jobs fair held by Step2Skills a the county council in Borhamwood last week.

That event was attended by a range of employers that included Sky Studios, Hilton, Hertsmere Borough Council, Herts Catering Limited, Jolly Tots nurseries, Veolia, Ringway and Communities First.

The Inclusive Jobs Fair will be held at The Arena in St Albans on Tuesday, May 21, between 10am and 3pm. It will include a quieter hour between 12noon and 1pm.