National Star launches initiative to support young people with disabilities in finding work

National Star has launched an initiative to help young people with disabilities find work.

We are very excited to reveal that we have launched EmployAble, a new scheme to support local employers in offering training and paid work placements for young people with disabilities.

Cheltenham businessman Andy Windsor told more than 30 county employers at our StarBistro launch that employees with physical or learning disabilities had a lot to offer.

Mr Windsor, who owns Pittville Properties, told of the first young man with disabilities he employed more than 18 years ago.

‘He drove me nuts the first couple of days, but then I got to know him and to understand him. He is still with the company 18 years on, and is a valuable asset to our business,’ he said. ‘People with a disability just need a bit of that extra time to fit in, and they need specific tasks.’

Mr David Finch, Director of International Research and Development at National Star, said that when an employer signed up to EmployAble, a job mentor would work with them to develop a job suitable for a person with disabilities.

The mentor would work with the learner in their placement for six to eight weeks until they were confident in the role.

‘Our aim is to create sustainable employment. We have learners who are ready for work and are committed to work,’ said Mr Finch.

Le Beaujolais restaurant in Cirencester is one of the first businesses to sign up to EmployAble.

Learner Abbey Joe Clarke, 19, from Cirencester, who is on our Skills for Work programme, was offered a six-week placement at the restaurant. She has already been offered some paid shifts.

Cody Gingell, 21, from Stroud, is also on the Skills for Work programme and hopes the work experience she is gaining at StarBistro will help her find a job.

‘I’ve really grown in confidence since starting here at the college. Now I am optimistic that I will be able to find work when I leave,’ she said.

To find out more about Employable, get in touch with James Garrod on 01242 527631 or email

To find out more about the Skills for Work programme, contact Rebecca Hibbert 01242 527631 or email

(Picture: Courtesy of Gloucesterhire Media)

Andy Windsor from Pittville Properties poses for a photograph with David Finch from National Star and a trainee from Star Bistro

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