A team led by the University of Exeter is looking into new ways that small and medium-sized enterprises can adapt to make the most of all the untapped local talent pools, by employing more people who are older, who have a long-term health condition, or a disability.
While people who are disabled and long-term ill have been overlooked for employment for some time, the issue now affects everyone: our country-wide population has an increasing percentage of older people, and a smaller proportion of younger people. In Cornwall, the older working population is rising more rapidly than in urban areas, and 83% of disability happens to people while in work.
Businesses need to keep their skilled people in work even when life has its ups and downs; and we’d like help them recruit and support their staff in a way that widens their options, gives them the competitive edge, and future-proofs their enterprise.
Previous research within big corporations has shown that focusing on worker wellbeing has accelerated business growth. So how can we help small businesses get similar great results?
The University of Exeter is working together with local partners disAbility Cornwall, Age UK Cornwall & Isles of Scilly, the Local Enterprise Partnership, and the South West Academic Health Science Network, with the support of the European Regional Development Fund.
The Inclusivity Project is based within the European Centre for the Environment and Human Health at the Knowledge Spa in Truro. It unites experts from the University of Exeter Medical School and Business School.