18 Apr 2019
The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), based in Somerset, asked Weston College students to produce a short video to highlight the benefits of being a Disability Confident employer.
Lauren Squibb, Project Manager at Weston College, said: “As the video explains, being a Level 2 Disability Confident employer means the College goes the extra mile to ensure that disabled people get a fair chance. It’s achieved through a self-assessment around two themes: getting the right people for our business; and keeping and developing our people.”
Dr Paul Phillips CBE, Principal and Chief Executive of Weston College, said: “It was a great privilege to work alongside the DWP to create a video explaining how we achieved Disability Confident status, and why more employers should consider joining us.
“It has helped us achieve one of the lowest employee absence rates in the country and a low level of staff turnover, which saves us time and money in regards to recruitment. It also ensures we are able to retain valuable skills and experience.”
The video first aired at the DWP’s ‘A Grand Day Out’ event at Butlins, Minehead on Wednesday 27th March.
Adam Tidmarsh, Employer Advisor, DWP said: “The concept of ‘A Grand Day Out’ came to us in early 2017 after attending a number of standard disability awareness events. They pretty much all used the same formula of guest speakers and PowerPoint presentations, in various combinations.
“A Grand Day Out is a new and exciting opportunity for employees and students to learn about diversity in our society and how different organisations can offer support and guidance around this.
“We also want to deliver information, bust myths, dismiss misconceptions over a number of issues – including health and disability, ex-offenders, drug and alcohol abuse, lone parents and homelessness – in a fun and interactive day. This involves activities like team building challenges, a fun fair and much more.
“We have, at last count, 44 teams and 23 organisations setting challenges, which brings us to around the 400 mark in terms of people taking part.”
Gina Hele, lecturer in Media Production at Weston College, said: “This was a great opportunity for our Media Production students to work on a live brief in a professional environment.
“The film is an excellent showcase of their skills and talents. The students were really passionate about creating a film which celebrates diversity, and makes a real difference to the wider community.”
Not only did the students - Kasha Wheat (director), Charlie Hands (camera operator), Scarlet Andrews (interviewer), Laura Paynter (audio assistant), Jed Stansfield (camera operator), Toby Maleham (editor) - have to create the film, they also had to comply with the ‘fun and interactive’ theme of A Grand Day Out. They decided to do a Krypton Factor-style quiz based on memory power, asking viewers to remember facts and figures after watching the three-minute film. The students also threw in the odd curve ball, including asking what colour Dr Paul’s tie was!
Film director, Kasha Wheat, said: “This project has been an eye-opening experience. It’s great to see that our work is actually being used for a real purpose. I never thought our video would be used at an event like this, and I hope we get more projects with as much meaning.”
Weston College students asked to produce a short video to highlight the benefits of being a Disability Confident employer.