Hemel Hempstead MP "impressed" by the dedication of Kennedy Scott staff

On 19 August, Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning visited local welfare to work provider Kennedy Scott, to discuss their contribution to the 19% fall in unemployment in Hemel Hempstead in the last year.

During his visit, Penning spoke to customers, staff and local employers who have benefitted from the work of Kennedy Scott. He also sat down with Chief Executive Dan Wright to discuss the expected changes that the government are making to the Work Programme, and what can be done to further help residents in Hemel Hempstead into work.

The former Disability Minister was particularly interested in the additional support Kennedy Scott will be offering to disabled people over the next two years. The Specialist Support Contract (SES) gives specialised support and guidance to people with disabilities to help them into successful and long-lasting careers.

Penning was able to see first-hand the fantastic work Kennedy Scott does to help those who need it. He met with Kennedy Scott customer, Louise, who recently set up her own jewellery design and production business. Louise demonstrated to Penning how Kennedy Scott has helped her become more confident in her abilities, through tuition in Maths, English, IT and a course in Business. Kennedy Scott’s support has allowed Louise to design her own website and successfully set up her business with the potential to expand in future. Louise said that without Kennedy Scott’s help she “wouldn’t be where she is today”.

Mike Penning, MP for Hemel Hempstead said:

“I was very impressed to see the professionalism and dedication of the staff and the commitment of those looking to get back to work, I saw at first hand people being treated as individuals with compassion but with determination to get people back into work”.

Speaking after the visit, Kennedy Scott CEO Dan Wright said:

“Mike is a great friend of Kennedy Scott and is very supportive of our work. He took great interest in meeting all the staff here in Hemel Hempstead and talking to local employers and customers who we have worked with. It was a pleasure to show Mike exactly what we do and I look forward to building on what we’ve achieved with his support”.

The prospects for Kennedy Scott nationally are bright, having recently secured the national SES contract. This will enable them to provide targeted help to unemployed people with disabilities who face complex barriers to finding employment. By working in collaboration with YMCA across the country, SES clients will be able to benefit from a Circle of Support, with Kennedy Scott caseworkers co-ordinating a range of government services and high quality employability support, condition management advice and counselling. The DWP has estimated that Kennedy Scott and YMCA’s collaboration will contribute to helping more than 1,700 people with disabilities find work each year.